NDRRMC OKs disaster response plan
MANILA, Philippines–The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) on Wednesday approved a much-needed general disaster response plan for the government in time for the onset of the rainy season.
Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, Interior Secretary Mar Roxas and other heads of government agencies met at Camp Aguinaldo to discuss the preparations for the imminent arrival of strong typhoons and other disasters.
During the meeting, the multiagency council approved the National Disaster Response Plan that the Department of Social Welfare and Development had prepared.
“The start of this year’s rainy season and the El Niño phenomenon (are) imperative for us to finalize the National Disaster Response Plan and subsequently formulate our actions in anticipation of extreme weather situations,” Gazmin said at the meeting.
Coming up with effective plans to mitigate the effects of natural disasters should be the concern of both the national and local governments, he said.
Gazmin also underscored the importance of close coordination and constant communication between the local government units and national state agencies.
“All our disaster risk reduction and management plans and programs must be clearly defined, communicated and coordinated with all concerned agencies and stakeholders,” he said.
“Our primordial responsibility in the NDRRMC is to reduce the risk brought about by disasters, prevent the loss of lives and destruction of properties and preserve our communities,” Gazmin said.
Alexander Pama, NDRRMC executive director, said the country’s tragic experience from Super Typhoon Yolanda had made the responsible government agencies realize the importance of having concrete disaster plans down to the community level.
Asked if the government’s response would be better post-Yolanda, Pama said: “We are hoping to do that because definitely we cannot do otherwise. There is no way to go but to improve on what we have been doing.”–Marlon Ramos
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