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PIA Press Release

Caraga prepares for disaster

By Patrick John G. Reyes

Butuan City (31 January) -- Natural disaters are happening more often and having an even more dramatic impact on the country in terms of both human and economic losses. Thus, the need for a more responsive action for the operation of the different departments of the government is vital. With these and the recent tsunami disaster in Asia in mind, the Regional Disaster Coordinating Council meet recently at the PNP-Caraga Regional Office, Libertad, Butuan City to discuss issues and concerns regarding disaster preparedness of the different member agencies of RDCC, individually and as a group. It was attended by representatives of the different member-agencies.

Despite the cold weather and continuous downpour, majority of the representatives and key members of the council came to actively participate in the quarterly gathering.

PNP-13 Regional Director presided over the meeting while Director Evelyn Villanueva, of the OCD chaired the Secretariat.

The PAG-ASA gave an update on the weather condition while Regional Executive Director Benjamin Tumaliuan presented the geographical hazards in Caraga. He discussed some issues regarding environmental flooding and pointed some places on the Regional Map where typhoons, tsunamis, flood, landslides and earthquake are prone and susceptible.

OCD Director Villanueva also guided the council in reviewing the tasks and functions of the responsibilities and duties of the departments of the government. Services such as Communications and Warning, Transportation, Evacuation, Rescue and Engineering, Police Auxiliary, Fire Auxiliary, Relief, Public Information, and Rehabilitation were reevaluated to refresh members of their primary tasks in time of disasters. Moreover, the review was enriched by the observations of PIA Director, Erlinda Patanao who asked how functional and operational the RDCC is in terms of operations in times of actual disasters.

Before the meeting ended, the majority of the council unanimously agreed to mount a Disaster Management Training and information drive to educate people of the region especially those in coastal areas how to respond to earthquakes which could possibly trigger tidal waves and tsunami.

Disaster comes as a surprise. It does not choose, and mostly it is unpredictable. Thus, each must be prepared and consider disaster prevention an integral component of daily life. These were the closing reminder of RDCC Chair Elumbaring. (PIA) [top]

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