Malaybalay allots P12-M to boost rescue capability

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/ 11 Aug) – The Malaybalay City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (CDRRMC) is spending P12 million this year until 2013 to boost its rescue capabilities, an official said yesterday.

Alan Comiso, CDRRMC officer-in-charge, told MindaNews they are spending at least P2.3 million this year to purchase basic equipment for the 23-member city rescue team.

Majority of the fund will be spent next year to buy tools, equipment and accessories for rescue operations, including the possible acquisition of a rubber boat, he added.

The city has already acquired two rescue vehicles that need to be refabricated.

For 2012, Comiso said the city government has an accumulated disaster risk and management fund of P64.7 million, which they intend to spend before it is reverted to the general fund.

The city’s rescue team was formally organized only in February this year.

While still on training and organizing, the team members were sent to help in the relief operations after tropical storm Sendong hit Cagayan de Oro City and in the rescue operations when flooding hit Valencia City, both last December.

Flood preparedness is among the priorities of Malaybalay’s CDRRMC since almost half or 22 of the city’s 46 barangays are considered “flood prone” areas.

Comiso identified the city’s flood prone areas as Barangays 1, 3, 4, 7, 9, 10, 11 and Poblacion.

The rest includes Sumpong, San Jose, Pat-pat, Mapayag, Magsaysay, Linabo, Laguitas, Kalasungay, Imbayao, Dalwangan, Casisang, Capitan Angel, Cabangahan, Bangcud and Aglayan.

Comiso said that aside from floods, they are also looking at the city’s other hazards like fire, landslides and earthquakes.

The CDRRM office is mandated to ensure public order, safety and security; practice transparency and accountability; and sound finance and resource management.

This year, Comiso said the CDRRM office was tasked to consolidate a risk assessment on disaster prone barangays, formulate a risk map and a disaster risk reduction and management plan, and to plan for contingencies.

Comiso said they plan to implement cost-effective risk reduction measures and to inform the public about Republic Act 10121 or the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management System law and climate adaptation in the villages.

But he stressed that in flood prone areas, it is important to push for a “forced evacuation law” to ensure the safety of the public. (Walter I. Balane/MindaNews)