Saturday, July 14, 2007

OCD chief urges LGUs to form disaster management plans

With the onset of the southwest monsoon which normally brings heavy rains to all parts of the country, Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) Regional Director Angel Gaviola urged the local government officials to be serious by putting in place disaster management plans.
Director Gaviola, during the opening of the two-day regional conference on Relief and Rehabilitation Services Wednesday, said disasters could be effectively prevented and managed if LGUs are prepared to handle such incidents.
According to Gaviola, this is possible only if there exist in LGUs a strong disaster coordinating councils and a well-formulated disaster management plans which will outline the necessary interventions in case such incidents occur.
“Natural hazards cannot be prevented. It will surely occur. What we can do is to prevent them from becoming disasters”, Gaviola said.
The OCD chief likewise stressed the need to educate the public on disaster management issues and to establish an early warning system to ensure their safety.
He issued a call to the participants of the conference who represented the various LGUs, non-government organizations (NGOs), national government agencies (NGAs), church-based groups and the business sector in the region concerned with disaster relief to unite to foster harmony when disaster strikes.
Gaviola noted that the Philippines is located along the typhoon belt and it is but proper to make necessary preparations so that its effects to human life and property can be minimized.
Data from the country’s weather bureau shows that an average of 20 typhoons enter the Philippines every year, a number of which wrought considerable damage to property and, at times, caused deaths. PIA-Cebu/ECD

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