DILG Central News
More disaster-resilient LGUs in the PhilAugust 9, 2012
Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse M. Robredo today said the minimal death toll in the two-week continuous monsoon rains in Metro Manila and nearby provinces indicated that local government units (LGUs) and their constituents are now more prepared and resilient in confronting such life-threatening situations.
“I think that disaster-preparedness should not be just a slogan; it should be a way of life for all LGUs and their constituents. Saving lives is more important than losing valuables and other properties,” the DILG chief, who is also the vice-chairman for preparedness of the National Risk Reduction and Disaster Management Council (NDRRMC), said.
Robredo said the government’s prompt response to the two-week heavy downpour has alleviated the more severe problems of loss of lives and properties by making sure all concerned government agencies are on standby alert, dispatching available resources, including relief goods, in low-lying areas badly affected by the onslaught of heavy southwest monsoon rains.
President Benigno S. Aquino III, Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa, DILG Secretary Robredo, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, DSWD Secretary Dinky Soliman, MMDA chairman Francis Tolentino, NDRRM chairman Benito Ramos, Science Secretary Mario Montejo, among others, met at the NDRRMC office at Camp Aguinaldo on Tuesday to assess the flooding situation and provide government assistance to all affected areas in the country.
As of 10 am yesterday. NDRRM reports say that only 11 fatalities were recorded from the two-week heavy downpour that flooded 80 percent of Metro Manila and nearby provinces.
“We at the DILG conducted a series of ocular inspection in different parts of Metro Manila on Tuesday and we learned that all concerned LGUs, including their staff, were hands on, working hard to minimize the loss of lives and properties due to heavy flooding in their respective areas,” he said.
“This means that our LGUs and their constituents are now more prepared and resilient in confronting disasters like floods that would transpire in their respective communities,” he added.
According to Robredo, many of the hardest-hit areas are the depressed areas where informal settler families (ISFs) live in so-called “danger zones” or along rivers and other waterways that are prone to overflow as a result of heavy rains.
“Based on reports reaching us, the concerned mayors and barangay chairmen did their jobs by alerting members of their communities to evacuate hours before the onslaught of the floods,” he said.
“Many of those left stranded and later became subject of rescue operations are those who refused to leave their homes. To them, I would say don’t wait until the last minute to evacuate because yours and the rescuers lives will be put in danger,” he added.
For the month of June and July this year, the DILG launched its Tapatan Caravan on Disaster-Preparedness on Floods in all regions of the country, including Metro Manila, to inculcate into the minds of all local government officials and other local stakeholders the importance of always being prepared in times of calamities, particularly when there are typhoons, floods, landslides, earthquakes and tsunamis that would hit their areas. (30)