Cebu mayors to map out disaster action plan
The vice mayor of one of Cebu’s smallest towns will meet with Cebu mayors to help map out a disaster risk management and action plan for the province.
“What happened in 2013 and the past years may also happen this 2014. It is good to be more prepared,” Vice Mayor Alfredo Arquillano of San Francisco town, Camotes Islands said yesterday.
Arquillano said that raising awareness and being prepared for supertyphoons like Yolanda was more important than the issue of funding.
“(This action plan) will help to reduce exposure and vulnerability to the risk of disasters,” he said.
Yesterday was the second month anniversary of Yolanda, the strongest recorded storm to hit land.
Arquillano was mayor of San Francisco when the town won a United Nations (UN) Sasakawa Award for its grassroots disaster risk reduction program.
The purok system where villagers have a standby emergency fund, also resulted in the forced evacuation of more than 1,000 residents of barangay Tulang Diyot near San Francisco town a day before Yolanda hit on Nov. 8 last year.
There were zero deaths in the town.
Arquillano said proper planning and being organized is everyone’s responsibility.
“It is also an advantage to work with the private sectors because they have the resources and tools. They can also help us on how to build resilience in the community,” he said.
“There’s no need for rescue if people can be evacuated. There’s no evacuation if we can relocate and there’s no relocation if everything is planned beforehand,” Arquillano said.
Regular meetings and drills should be done, he said.
Barangay officials should be taught risk assessment so they can readily identify who are vulnerable during calamities, he added.
Arquillano said the day before the storm, he went to the state weather bureau Pagasa’s Mactan office to monitor Yolanda’s path and arrival.
Arquillano said more needs to be done to reduce damage and fatalities. He said families in San Francisco will be relocated away from coastal areas and will be provided livelihood.
Arquillano also said he went to Tacloban City for a day and observed their conditions two months after Yolanda’s devastation.
“Trash and hygiene is still a problem in Tacloban City until today. I understand that Tacloban City is a big place. The local officials had prepared but some people did not understand,” Arquillano said.
In Bogo City, Mayor Celestino Martinez Jr. said 15 to 20 beneficiaries will be awarded free housing in the Yolanda Village in barangay La Paz on Jan. 15.
Five hundred more houses will be built in the city’s barangays paid for by private donors.
Also on Jan. 15, five families in each barangay will receive two piglets.
Martinez said 85 percent of the electricity in the city has been restored by the Cebu Electric Co. (Cebeco).
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