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DILG releases manual to guide local execs in responding to disasters

By: - Reporter / @MRamosINQ
/ 09:09 AM July 15, 2014
mar roxas ii

Interior Secretary Mar Roxas. INQUIRER.net FILE PHOTO

CEBU CITY, Philippines–What exactly is wind velocity? How about barometric pressure?

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) launched on Monday a manual on the ABCs of disaster preparedness to aid local chief executives in spelling out the preparations for typhoons and other natural calamities.

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The manual, entitled “Disaster Preparedness Journal: Checklist of Minimum Actions for Mayors,” was published by the Local Government Academy, an attached agency of the DILG.

Interior Secretary Mar Roxas led the distribution of the copies of the guidebook to Luzon town mayors who attended the convention of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines held at the Waterfront Hotel here.

“Instead of the mayors carrying the burden of explaining the effects of… 20 millimeters of rain, we have come up with a checklist or guide to action for the mayors to take during the rainy season,” Roxas said in his speech.

“What we did was to convert all the scientific data provided by PAGASA (Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration) and other agencies into concrete disaster response (programs) for the local government units,” he continued.

Roxas urged the mayors to help improve the manual by sharing their best practices in confronting the challenges that their communities faced in the past.

He also asked them to help the national government in making “disaster preparedness a way of life,” reiterating that violent weather disturbances like supertyphoon “Yolanda” “is the new normal.”

Speaking with reporters after the event, the interior secretary said the handbook would provide basic information and “minimum actions” which the local officials should undertake before, during and after the calamities.

He said Republic Act 10121, or the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010, tasked the mayors “to ensure the safety and resiliency of communities” during disasters.

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“What’s happening now is that the mayors are swamped with technical information like the velocity of the wind, the speed of the eye of the storm and the barometric pressure. But not all mayors can interpret these scientific terms to their constituents,” Roxas explained.

With the handbook, he said the mayors would have a “guide to action” in mapping out the appropriate safety measures for their respective municipalities.

“This manual will be a tool for the local government units to prevent the loss of lives during calamities,” he said, adding:

“(D)isaster preparedness should be a way of life and local chief executives should lead the people (and) encourage them to work hand-in-hand with the various national and local government units for safer, better communities.”

Besides the contact numbers of the concerned government agencies, the handbook contains explanation of the concepts and terms used in describing the intensity and power of an oncoming typhoon.

It also has a glossary of terms and acronyms related to disaster response, including the abbreviations of pertinent government agencies.

The manual also list the “early preparedness actions” and “critical period actions” for the local government units.

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TAGS: Astronomical Services Administration, Calamity, cyclones, Department of Interior and Local governments, disaster, disaster risk management, emergency response, Evacuation, Geophysical, Local authorities, Local Government Academy, Local Governments, manual, Mar Roxas, News, Philippine Atmospheric, relief, rescue, Storms, typhoons
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