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PIA Press Release

Albay DRR program, A2C2 cited in UN conference

by MA Loterte

Legazpi City (30 June) -- Albay province has received another accolade from the United Nation Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) Conference held recently in Geneva, Switzerland citing the provincial government's programs on disaster risk reduction and adaptation to climate change.

Albay Governor Joey Salceda, who attended the conference last June 16-19, said the province has been cited for its preemptive evacuation, which has since achieved a "zero casualty" in times of disaster, and mangrove plantation program as deterrent to climate change.

The governor, pioneering the climate change research and adaptation in the province and perhaps in the country as well, represented the country's local government unit (LGU) sector in said four-day conference.

Salceda said Senator Loren Legarda in her plenary keynote address hailed Albay as LGU model for disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation, referring to the programs of the province in pursuing preparedness and management operations in times of natural disasters and other calamities.

Legarda cited in her discussion the creation and institutionalization of the Albay Provincial Safety, Emergency Management Office (APSEMO) pursuing preemptive evacuation procedures during calamities, and mangrove plantation as deterrent to climate change.

APSEMO is the first of its kind in the country to serve as the technical and administrative arm of the Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council (PDCC) due to the geographic and geologic location of the province highly vulnerable to various types of natural hazards like typhoons, flood, mud/debris flows, storm surges, tsunami, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions.

"The province has also recently entered to a memorandum of agreement with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) for the P2 million joint projects on mangrove plantations and development in hundreds of hectares of swamp areas in various provincial coastlines," Salceda said.

Meanwhile, OxFam GB of the United Kingdom also featured Albay's disaster management program in a documentary and information materials on its best practices on disaster risk reduction.

It can be recalled Albay has been chosen as one of the Top 10 Outstanding Governance Programs in the Search for Galing Pook 2008 for its innovative approaches in institutionalizing the APSEMO. (PIA V) [top]

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