DOST iterates disaster resilience in CAR

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Friday, May 9, 2014


THE Department of Science and Technology (DOST) iterated its call for the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) to increase its resilience against disasters.

"We need to prepare for earthquakes in this region," DOST – Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Philvocs) Director Renato Solidum said.

But while earthquakes are the biggest threats to CAR, the region is also susceptible to rainfall, tropical cyclones, flooding, drought and extreme cold.

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DOST, along with the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration and Philvocs, in a forum here in the Summer Capital, introduced the concept "disaster imagination" which calls for early warning leading to early action.

Under this concept, there must be an anticipation of disasters. Local communities led by the LGUs must increase their local risk knowledge, capacitate hazards monitoring, test warn with the proper communications protocol and build response capability with the use of Science.

With the Science and Technology sector’s Disaster Risk Exposure Assessment for Mitigation and Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards, LGUs can refer to the enhanced geohazard maps and enhanced storm surge vulnerability maps in high resolution to better comprehend and improve the mitigation plan for disasters in their communities.

Project NOAH executive director Joseph Lagmay emphasized LGUs must learn and understand these maps to be effective.

According to him, advanced warning and action led by the LGUs are the two important factors to preparedness.

While the different government agencies continue the information education campaign for disaster preparedness and risk reduction through seminars, press conferences and other mechanisms such as broadcast and internet media, local government units are tasked to facilitate information dissemination in their locales.

Department of the Interior and Local Government regional director John Castañeda asserted through the integration of these efforts in the community, hazard mitigation is possible.

“We, in the Cordilleras, if we put our minds and energies and get our acts together, we can do it,” he said.

DOST Secretary Mario Montejo, meanwhile, stressed a new era of resilience against calamities must start now. (Giovanni Joy Fontanilla)

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on May 10, 2014.

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