May 27, 2016
As the rainy season is about to start, Secretary Mel Senen S. Sarmiento of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) is calling on all local government units (LGUs) to carry out the disaster preparedness measures under Operation Listo.
According to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), the current El Niño is already in its decaying stage and there is a possible rise of La Niña during the second half of 2016.
PAGASA particularly warned the provinces of Isabela, Quezon, Samar, Leyte, Surigao, Agusan and Bicol of the developing La Niña.
In a directive, Sarmiento urged all provincial governors, city and municipal mayors, and DILG regional directors to take the precautionary measures in their respective areas of responsibility.
“LGUs are encourage to convene their respective Local Disaster Risk Reduction Management Councils to prepare a La Niña Action Plan; closely coordinate with PAGASA for timely weather updates and with the DENR-Mines and Geosciences Bureau for adequate information on the threat of flooding and rainfall-induced landslides within the respective LGUs,” said Sarmiento.
He also directed LGUs to regularly submit a status report to DILG, through its Field and Regional Offices, on all La Niña related incidents, including planning, preparations and general assessments.
Sarmiento also reminds LGUs to implement the early preparedness actions listed in the Operation Listo Manuals for hydro-meteorological hazards namely the (1) Checklist of critical preparations for Mayors, (2) Checklist of early preparations for Mayors, and (3) Checklist for municipal Local Government Operation Officers, Chief of Police, and Fire Marshalls.
These manuals lay down disaster preparedness minimum standards before, during and after a disater.
There are four General Actions to be undertaken proactively by local chief executives to be able to carry out the functons during the critical period when an advisory or alert is issued by PAGASA: (1) create the Local Disaster Risk Reduction Management structures and systems to be mobilized; (2) institutionalized policies and plans; (3) build the competency of the created structures through various trainings; and (4) complement the competency by purchasing and preparing the need hardware and supplies to equip the actions.
“As the Manuals say, they are done during ‘peace time’ or when no immediate threat of a disaster. Tamang paghahanda, tamng aksyon. This is what Operation Listo reminds everyone that we must be preemptive instead of reactive.
Operation Listo is an advocacy program of the DILG which aims to strengthen disaster preparedness of LGUs using the whole-of-government approach. Its first component called Listong Pamahalaang Lokal was launched in 2014 which institutionalized local protocols for disaster preparedness, response monitoring.
Listong Pamayanan and Listong Pamilyang Pilipino
Last month, President Benigno Aquino III led the DILG’s launching of two new components of operation Listo: the Listong Pamayanan and Listong Pamilyan Pilipino.
Listong Pamayanan are a capactity development interventions that started from LGUs and to be cascaded to the community; and the Listong Pamilyan Pilipino focuses on the family and household level preparedness.
I n Listong Pamilyang Pilipino, the DILG partners with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in distributing “Gabay at Mapa”, which is a family guide to action before, during and after a disaster. It requires families to make a households plan determining their evacuation ruotes, family meeting points, and safe places in their home.
Families are advised to prepare their a-Blade, or Emergency Blade, which contains essential items to brought during evacuation, such as ready-to-eat food, three gallons of water, medicine, first aid and hygiene kits, clother, flashlights, and radios.