Oro, MisOr disaster bodies give rate on Agaton preparedness

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Monday, January 27, 2014


ON A scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 as the highest), the City and Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Councils (CDRRMC, PDRRMC) gave themselves 'eight' for their performance on preparedness and rescue efforts at the height of Tropical Depression Agaton last week.

CDRRMC operates mainly in Cagayan de Oro City while the PDRRMC’s coverage is huge encompassing the entire Misamis Oriental.

Allan Porcadilla, administrative and training officer of CDRRMC, said they collaborated well with other line agencies to initiate the protocols during disasters.

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“The established protocols during disasters and its implementation made the disaster response during Agaton successful,” Porcadilla said.

He added that the Early Warning System (EWS) greatly helped the CDRRMC in implementing the protocols, with ‘spotters’ in the hinterlands playing a significant role.

Spotters are the people assigned in specific areas to confirm the data provided by other offices regarding water levels in rivers that could have an effect in the city.

Porcadilla said in areas where the office has no EWS, volunteers such as radio groups were active in reporting vital information to their office.

He furthered that the tight coordination between the local government units in the barangays contributed a lot to the successful disaster response of the CDRRMO.

Meanwhile, Andrew Bascon, head of the PDRRMC, said the response time and the dispatching of their mobile trucks for evacuation contributed largely to the success during TD Agaton.

He added the communication between responders is a great help for the PDRRMC to act hastily on the needs of the communities in Misamis Oriental.

But most of all, like the CDRRMC, Bascon said planning and the implementation of the disaster protocols is the key to a successful disaster response.

He added the teamwork of PDRRMC members was also a factor to achieving their objectives.

Challenges

Porcadilla said the CDRRMC encountered a lot of challenges while responding to disasters at the height of Agaton.

He said sometimes the information passed unto them by the callers who requested for assistance was misleading.

Porcadilla cited a call from the community requesting for the rescue of families.

But when the rescuers from the CDRRMC came, they confirmed that it was just five individuals and not families.

“The informants should always be open to communication so they could guide the responders on the exact location of the incident,” Porcadilla said as a suggestion for effective disaster response.

He also noted that the Barangay Disaster Risk Reduction Council (BDRRMC) should have the initiative to respond to disasters in coordination with the CDRRMC and the City social welfare and development office (CSWD).

Porcadilla added the villages have new set of officers that is why it did not respond automatically to disasters.

“It is best if they will be educated about the preparation and protocols during disasters,” he said.

He said there is no perfect disaster risk response. But, he added that the CDRRMC learned a lot from its previous experiences.

“Our previous experiences helped us become more efficient in responding to disasters in the city,” said Porcadilla.

Bascon said the effects of Agaton like landslides hinder the PDRRMC to react hastily in every situation.

He added that although the PDRRMC lacks some equipment but it can be managed through the initiative of their office to use alternative resources.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on January 27, 2014.

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