Philippines: OCD-6 pushes for pro-active approach to typhoons

Source(s)
Philippines News Agency

By Gail Momblan

ILOILO CITY -- The Office of Civil Defense (OCD) 6 (Western Visayas) is pushing for a pro-active approach to natural hazards, such as typhoons.

The office has convened the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC) members for a three-day Regional Contingency Plan for Natural Hazards held in a hotel in this city from Wednesday to Friday.

The OCD-6 targets to have a draft of the regional contingency plan for typhoons at the end of the three-day planning and workshop, said Melissa Banias, capability building section officer.

“We will make a contingency plan for a ‘Yolanda’-type typhoon scenario,” Banias said on Thursday.

Included in the contingency plan is the profiling and assessment of the impact of typhoons as a natural hazard and the goals and objectives of the plan.

It will also carry a cluster implementation plan that will address specific matters in preparing for a typhoon.

“We have the cluster for food and non-food items, camp and evacuation, search and retrieval, among others. Each cluster, which has its own protocol, has its assigned lead agencies that will lead the coordination, as well as the implementation of our cluster plan,” she said.

During the planning, the RDRRMC members presented and committed their resources.

The planning also paved the way for addressing the gaps between the needs for manpower or equipment and the available resources in the inventory.

“The contingency plan will have the resources and the efforts of the RDRRMC members arranged and prepared in the event of a typhoon,” she said.

Banias said the OCD has disseminated the Standard Operating Procedures for typhoons, while the Department of the Interior and Local Government also has "Operation Listo" to strengthen disaster preparedness among local government units.

Aside from the eyed contingency plan, the existing system has to be “implemented appropriately,” she said.

“We want to practice and implement the culture of pro-activeness, which means that we already have preemptive evacuation even before the typhoon, we have an existing plan, and already propositioned our resources and response,” Banias said, adding that residents of Western Visayas should have learned by now from typhoon experiences over the years.

Ronaldo Naragdao, a weather specialist of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) Iloilo station, said the region had experienced seven typhoons since January.

"We have 11 or more for the whole Philippines up to December," he said in a phone interview Thursday.

Meanwhile, Banias said the contingency plan will be polished, packaged and will be approved by OCD-6 regional director Jose Roberto Nuñez.

The book copy of the contingency plan is eyed to be finished by August “before the –ber months come when typhoon usually occurs,” she said. (PNA)

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