Officials support call for disaster preparedness-A A +A
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
LOCAL officials of the Cordillera Administrative Region on Monday pledged to support the extensive government programs on environmental protection and disaster preparedness, the region being one of the disaster-prone areas in the Philippines.
The commitment was made during a dialogue with Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Jesse Robredo and the local officials, which was centered on risk reduction and climate change adaptation.
The dialogue was timed with the observance of the 22nd anniversary of the July 16, 1990 "killer earthquake" that nearly devastated this mountain resort, 250 kilometers north of Manila, leaving more than 500 people dead.
Robredo said the local officials' role in risk reduction is very important as they are the ones close to their constituents and know the needs and the areas to be rehabilitated during calamities.
The secretary also underscored the importance of environmental protection in the region due to the rugged terrain in Cordilleras, where denuded mountainsides proved to be vulnerable to erosion.
In the past 22 years, most Cordillera fatalities during disasters were due to landslides and drowning.
During the 1990 earthquake, some of the victims were hit by falling rock while traversing Kennon road and other routes leading to Baguio, while most were pinned to death in 10 tall buildings here which crumbled at the height of the tremor and subsequent strong aftershocks.
Mayor Mauricio Domogan said residents here were shocked at first during disaster but later helped in the re-building of the city and cooperated in the various government safety precautions. (Aure Galacgac/PNA)
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on July 17, 2012.