Bangsamoro chief reorders disaster response office
COTABATO CITY – Bangsamoro Chief Minister Ahod Ebrahim has reordered the region’s disaster response agency to strengthen its capacity to attend to natural and man-made calamities and emergencies.
Through Executive Order No. 12 signed on July 29, Ebrahim created the Rapid Emergency Action on Disaster Incidence (READI) and placed it under the supervision of the Ministry of the Interior and Local Government (MILG).
READI will replace the Humanitarian Emergency Action and Response Team that used to be under the governor of the defunct Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
Ebrahim said the READI-BARMM (Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao) would be the “primary preparedness and response office on disasters in the Bangsamoro region.”
Ebrahim designated lawyer Naguib Sinarimbo, Minister for Interior and Local Government, as READI-BARMM chief.
Sinarimbo told reporters having the MILG directly oversee READI-BARMM is a good fit as it would enable the ministry to neatly integrate disaster preparedness from the region down to the local governments.
He said he planned to expand the corps of emergency responders throughout the region, in the different ministries, and the local governments, although he emphasized the local governments would still be the first responders when natural and man-made calamities happen.
On Tuesday, the BARMM held an earthquake drill inside its compound.
Sinarimbo cited its importance in “measuring our state of readiness to deal with this type of disaster and, at the same time, instill the culture of readiness and preparedness on our people.”
He looked back on the powerful 1976 tremor that generated a tsunami that devastated Cotabato City and other parts of the region.
“This is the reason we always have to be prepared,” he added. /lzb