Paeng’s wrath: NDRRMC ‘not pointing fingers,’ eyes better response coordination with LGUs
MANILA, Philippines – The National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC) is eyeing better disaster response coordination with local government units as it reassesses its systems following the high record of casualties from the onslaught of tropical storm Paeng (international name: Nalgae).
NDRRMC assistant secretary Bernardo Alejandro IV said Monday that the agency is “not pointing fingers,” but it will improve how it communicates and works with LGUs, particularly in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), during calamities.
“I’m not blaming BARMM for this but we want to improve how we do things kasi ang problema is – are the LGUs, including BARMM, able to translate into action iyong mga warning na tinatanggap natin?” Alejandro told Inquirer.net in a phone interview.
(I’m not blaming BARMM for this, but we want to improve how we do things because the problem is – are the LGUs, including BARMM, able to translate the warnings they’re receiving into action?)
He later added: “Nasa appreciation kasi, based on the protocol, kung paano magresponde iyong LGUs kasi sila iyong nakakaalam sa area nila – in general, kung saan ang safe. Kasama po iyan sa pag-aaralan natin. Not to blame anyone, we just have to take it as lessons learned and a challenge for all of us na talagang kailangan pa na mag-improve to avoid similar incidents.”
(It depends on their protocol-based appreciation and how the LGUs will respond because they know more about their area, like which places are safe. That’s one of the things we’ll review. Not to blame anyone; we just have to take it as lessons learned and a challenge for all of us to improve to avoid similar incidents.)
This reassessment of systems, Alejandro said, is simultaneously being done with the relief and response efforts of the NDRRMC and the BARMM government to the victims of Paeng.
“Nandiyan naman ang BARMM. They are doing everything they can but of course, kailangan natin iyong support nila. Kailangan nila iyong support natin para po mas efficient and mas maganda po iyong response natin,” he noted.
(BARMM officials are there. They are doing everything they can but of course, we’ll need their support too. And they’ll need our support to improve our response and make it more efficient.)
Proper equipment, capacity building
Moving forward, Alejandro said investing in proper early warning equipment at the local level and consistent capacity building should be endeavored by NDRRMC together with the LGUs.
“Investment on proper equipment, mga early warning equipment sa local level, kailangan iyan. Hindi naman kailangan na manggaling pa sa atin. Dapat on their own, they should be able to monitor,” he said.
(Investment in proper early warning equipment at the local level is needed. It doesn’t need to come from us, they should be able to monitor it on their own.)
The NDRRMC official added that continuous capacity building must likewise be pursued, especially with the ongoing transition to a new set of disaster risk reduction and management officers.
Alejandro then noted the agency is already assisting BARMM’s disaster response by providing helicopters for the distribution of supplies needed for relief operations in the region.
A total of 1.95 million individuals suffered from Paeng’s fury, leaving around 98 people dead, based on the Monday morning situational report of the NDRRMC.