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PIA Press Release

Disaster managers, media interface on disaster risk reduction and preparedness

by MA Loterte

Legazpi City (25 January) -- Disaster managers and media practitioners in the provinces of Camarines Sur and Catanduanes have renewed partnership to ensure efficient communication strategies to prevent the loss of lives and mitigate the impacts of calamities and disasters.

The provincial disaster coordinating councils (PDCC's) and media practitioners from these two provinces had recently participated in a Seminar/Workshop on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) held at Barriada Complex of Corner's Place Hotel here last January 12, 2009.

Accion Contre La Faim (ACF), an international humanitarian group against hunger, under the latter's community-based disaster risk reduction project, spearheaded the one-day activity participated in by some 23 representatives from both sectors.

Rita Marie Petralba, ACF DRR project coordinator for Bicol, said the activity intends to increase awareness among disaster managers on EWS, on the other hand, define the roles and responsibilities of media on accurate and responsible information dissemination of information pertaining to advisories of warning agencies, DRR, preparedness and mitigation measures that need to carried out be local disaster coordinating councils.

Cedric Daep, Albay Public Safety and Emergency Management Office (APSEMO) chief, delved on the different hazards and their implications, also emphasizing the need to establish Early Warning System (EWS) communication strategies in different local government levels.

Daep stressed the provincial, city or municipal, and barangay disaster managers should ensure that communication link in EWS must be observed for a more efficient risk reduction and preparation of the community in the wake of impending disaster or calamity.

Disaster managers, meanwhile, are now strengthening their collaboration with the media acknowledging the vital role of communication networks in the implementation of the Early Warning System (EWS).

Daep noted that the media should also be aware of the right and responsible way of communicating information to the communities, analysis of the problems, and identification of solutions related to dialects and broadcast communications during emergency.

Marlon Loterte of the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Bicol, meanwhile, related the roles and responsibilities of media in the communication network on EWS.

Media should always be one of the main stakeholders in every government program, specifically on EWS for disaster preparedness, response and mitigation, recognizing the sector's vital role in communicating information to ensure the safety of the people and prevent extensive damage on properties, among others. (PA V) [top]

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