Disaster response, preparedness and rehab program pushed-A A +A
Thursday, January 24, 2013
THE recent devastation that Davao Region experienced due to Typhoon Pablo, particularly in the agricultural sector, prompted Department of Agriculture (DA) to initiate a disaster preparedness, response and rehabilitation program that will be implemented across the country.
The program aims to lessen the impact of natural calamities in the agricultural sector, as well as to mitigate its effects.
No less than DA Secretary Prospero Alcala commended the agency's regional office in Davao in its prompt response immediately after Pablo made a landfall in the town of Baganga, Davao Oriental on December 4.
Alcala, in DA's official advisory, said the department has learned a lot after what had happened, especially in region where close coordination and linkages between regional offices of DA are tested.
One of the main objectives of the program is to protect the gains and livelihood of the country's farmers and fisherfolk.
Should the program become fully-operational, it can protect public investments like irrigation systems, postharvest facilities, and farm-to-market roads aside from the crops of the individual farmers.
"Let's harmonize our efforts and resources, as we craft a comprehensive disaster preparedness program to better protect farming and fishing areas against typhoons and floods," Alcala said.
DA aims to develop a better, more effective scheme that would serve as a template for centralized and organized reporting before, during, and after calamities or disasters.
The program, Alcala said, will serve as a model for other Asean countries, especially those countries that are frequently visited by typhoons and other natural disasters.
With the damage caused by Pablo in the region's agricultural sector, DA has initially allocated P235 million cash assistance for affected provinces in the region on top of the P1.6 billion proposed additional budget. (JOP)
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on January 25, 2013.