Zamboanga City activates disaster management office

ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews / 3 July) – Mayor Ma. Isabelle Climaco-Salazar has issued an administrative order creating the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO) purposely to set direction, development, implementation and coordination of disaster risk management program in this city.

Salazar said the ad interim office shall be in force until such time the CDRRMO is activated and institutionalized through a city ordinance.

The CDRRMO is a mandatory office and that each province, city or municipality shall prioritize its establishment based on Republic Act 10121 otherwise known as the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010.

Salazar has designated Dr. Elmeir Apolinario, assistant city administrator, as the officer-in-charge of the ad interim office with personnel from the offices of the City Mayor, City Engineer and City Administrator placed on administrative detail.

The creation of the ad interim office last July 1 and the designation of Apolinario is supported by two resolutions authored by City Administrator Antonio Orendain Jr. and approved during the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (CDRRMC) meeting Wednesday.

The CDRRMO includes various divisions and units such as the Administration and Training Division, Research and Planning Division, Operations and Warning Division, Closed-Circuit Television Camera (CCTV) unit, Traffic Management Unit and Emergency Responders Unit.

The activation of the ad interim office is in line with the observance of the National Disaster Consciousness Month (NDCM).

Meanwhile, Salazar said the CDRRMC building being constructed at Pettit Barracks is now 95 percent complete.

Salazar said that some rescue equipment that include aluminum ladder, chain saw, communication equipment, portable generators, bolt cutter and microphone with siren had already arrived.

The others like tents, tower light, back hoe and grader are soon to arrive while the two rescue boats with engine and trailer and six rescue boats without engines have been submitted for bidding.

As this developed, the local government has started dredging, desiltation and cleaning of the five-kilometer stretch of the river in Barangay Tugbungan, which is perennially the cause of flooding in the area.

City Agriculturist Diosdado Palacat, who oversees the project, said the undertaking will cover 38 working days and costs approximately P500,000.

Palacat said the dredging works, which is being undertaken by a private contractor, started on Monday.