THE lives of the more than 3 million residents of Quezon City are extremely important to the administration of Mayor Herbert M. Bautista.
Thus, the city government, through its Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (DRRMC), recently approved an updated disaster-contingency plan for earthquakes and floods.
The purpose of this is to ensure that its plan is relevant and will surely save the lives of the city’s residents.
The Public Affairs and Information Services Office (Paiso) said “[t]he disaster-contingency plan is updated annually to further develop and capacitate the previous year’s plan.”
“As part of the two-pronged strategy for Disaster Resilience of Greater Metro Manila Area [GMMA] of the National Resilience Team under the Presidential Management Staff, the disaster-resilience cluster has been adopted as the main strategy to be employed by the national government agencies to ensure earthquake resiliency,” the Paiso explained.
It noted that continuous improvement of the risk and disaster action plan is in line with the program of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) for the purpose of “harmoni[zing] the clusters [so that] each cluster would have their own function during an earthquake.”
At the same time, it is consistent with the concept of good local governance of the DILG.
Specifically, it is one of the requirements for a local government to receive a Seal of Good Local Governance.
The Paiso said one of the highlights of the updated disaster-contingency plan is to check and monitor buildings and other infrastructures to ensure their resiliency against tremors and possible collapse.
The plan also promotes “cooperation” among the hospitals in the city, barangay health centers, Philippine Blood Center and other blood banks in order to provide ample supply of blood for the possible victims and other health-related concerns during earthquakes and floods.
Bautista thus issued a marching order to the technical working group and the disaster council for the barangay officials to come up with the list of all registered doctors, nurses, engineers, and others with similar professions in order for the 142 barangays in the city to have their own incident commander or focal persons assigned for the emergency responses.
The incident commander is responsible in mobilizing the army of doctors, nurses, engineers, etc. to assist the residents during the calamity situation, Bautista noted.
Michael Marasigan, chief of the DRRMC, said his office “will not stop looking for needs and gaps in the disaster-contingency plan for its continuous improvement.”
Marasigan added “we were given new formats and new mechanism and components on how we can further improve the plan.”
He, however, admitted that “disaster resiliency is not just about planning. We should also put into practice the plan as regular as we can, including during drills and simulation exercises so as to find out if it is effective or not.”
Bautista, who is on his third and last term, said that after realizing the importance and necessity of the disaster-resiliency plan for the city’s residents, the city government’s DRRMC should bring the plan down to the barangay and community levels to the contents of the updated and improved plan.
With new risk-management plan, the mayor is confident his administration is prepared during earthquakes, flooding and other calamities.