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Disaster prevention seminars a must

/ 02:57 AM October 08, 2013

A Quezon City councilor has drafted an ordinance to compel traders to conduct an annual disaster risk reduction and management seminar for their employees as a requirement for the renewal or approval of their application for business permits.

And should they fail to do so, violators face a fine of P5,000 or one-year imprisonment or both.

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In his draft ordinance, Councilor Ranulfo Ludovica observed that the large number of casualties during disasters such as earthquakes, typhoons and fires “could be attributed to the lack of knowledge about disaster-awareness, preparedness, prevention and the capacity to reduce the level of risk.”

He said it was necessary to educate workers, particularly those in the service, wellness and entertainment industries, on disaster risk reduction and management to prevent or minimize the loss of lives and damage to property.

Ludovica cited in particular those who work in restaurants, hotels, night clubs, cocktail lounges, bars, health spas, massage parlors and similar establishments as among those who should be given seminars “to avoid panic, confusion and stampedes during (an) emergency that usually causes injury and untimely death.”

Under the proposed measure, the owners, managers or operators of business establishments with more than 10 employees in Quezon City are required to conduct a disaster risk reduction and management seminar every year for their employees before they can apply for or renew their business permits.

The owner may request a resource person or lecturer for the seminar from any of the local offices, including the Quezon City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office; the Environmental Protection and Waste Management Department; the Department of Public Order and Safety; the local chapter of the Philippine Red Cross; and a nongovernment organization duly accredited by the office of the city mayor with a disaster risk reduction advocacy.

A P1,000 fee is to be paid to the city treasurer’s office for the seminar. The fee will be placed in a special account to pay for the honorarium of the resource person as well as for the purchase of equipment, supplies, motor vehicles, tools, instruments and other protective or safety gadgets necessary for rescue and relief operations.

The local government office which facilitated the seminar for the business establishment will issue a certificate of compliance stating the number of participants.

The draft ordinance specifically states that “no application for new or renewal of business permit shall be approved by the Business Permits and Licensing Office unless a certificate of compliance is attached to the application in addition to other lawful requirements. In case a business permit is issued in violation of this provision, the issuing officer shall be held administratively (liable).”

Likewise a violator may be fined P5,000 or jailed for a year or both, depending on the court’s discretion. In case the violator is a juridical person, such as a corporation, the president of the company, general manager or any responsible officer will be held liable.

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TAGS: Business, disaster risk reduction and management, draft ordinance, Philippines - Metro, Quezon City, seminar
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