20% of Davao City’s 182 barangays non-compliant with DRRM plans

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 4 Jan) – About 20 percent of the 182 barangays in Davao City are non-compliant with the disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM) plans, Central 911 chief Emmanuel Jaldon said.

The Central 911 chief told reporters in an interview that non-compliance with the DRRM could be blamed on the “ignorance of the law or plain laziness” of the barangay officials to implement the DRRM plans despite their intensified campaign on disaster preparedness.

“There are barangays who do not give importance to disaster risk reduction and management because the barangay officials themselves are not giving that much [interest],” Jaldon said.

He said Central 911 has been regularly conducting trainings to all barangays to encourage officials to put up DRR measures such as the creation of a Barangay Disaster Risk Reduction Committee (BDRRMC) as well as the early warning signage and directional signs to evacuation centers, most especially in coastal and landslide prone areas.

Jaldon lamented that some of the participants attended the training just for “compliance.”

Under Section 12.6.1 of Republic Act (RA) 10121, or the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010, the provincial, city and municipal DRRMOs or Barangay Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Offices are tasked to “design, program, and coordinate disaster risk reduction and management activities consistent with the National Council’s standards and guidelines”.

Section 21 also states that not less than “5 percent of the estimated revenue from regular sources shall be set aside as the local disaster reduction and management fund (LDRRMF) to support disaster risk management activities such as, but not limited to, pre-disaster preparedness programs including training, purchasing life-saving rescue equipment, supplies and medicines, for post-disaster activities, and for the payment of premiums on calamity insurance.”

It added that of “of the amount appropriated for LDRRMF, 30 percent shall be allocated as Quick Response Fund (QRF) or stand-by fund for relief and recovery programs in order that situation and living conditions of people in communities or areas stricken by disasters, calamities, epidemics, or complex emergencies, may be normalized as quickly as possible.”

Jaldon said that residents living in highly susceptible areas are also responsible for their own safety by doing a pre-emptive evacuation when there is an apparent danger.

“During hydro meteorological events, when there is heavy rain and there is possibility of flooding, people living along riverbanks or areas susceptible to landslides, they must conduct preemptive evacuation. They must move out of their place because we can never tell, how fast, if there will be somebody to rescue them,” he said.

Jaldon encouraged the public to prepare because there may be a series of downpour that might cause flooding until February 2017.

Last Monday, a heavy downpour caused a swelling of Matina Pangi River and Lipadas River, affecting some areas in the Brgy. Matina Crossing, Brgy. Matina Aplaya, Brgy. Lubogan and Brgy. Sirawan, Brgy. Dumoy, and Brgy. Bago Aplaya in Toril, Brgy. Talomo, Brgy. Mintal, and Brgy. Sto. Niño in Tugbok. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)