THE Monday after next week is fast approaching. This day will inform the campaigning candidates of their fortune in the next three years. It is the day when we cast our votes to be counted. That’s why, we should perhaps start listing names and numbers of our choices for this election.
There have been many platforms now that we’ve heard during the campaigns. All of it were promising. But have they included our concern in the cordilleras on Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) in their rally yet? Maybe those who have experience did (that I haven’t heard yet), but some newcomers may have not. And there are a lot of reason why.
To be inclined to DRRM is to read Republic Act 10121 which is the law that guides the DRRM on the projects, programs and activities that has to be implemented in the government unit. It covers all four thematic areas from prevention/mitigation, preparedness, response, and rehabilitation/recover including the task of every official, may it be provincial or municipal. And it limits actions too, that not everything is to be done by the specific government unit. So I suggest, ask them on their take on RA 10121 next time. A good answering aspirant should make it to your list.
In 2018, we experienced disasters brought by Typhoon Ompong and Typhoon Rosita. If given the chance, I’d ask: “what can you do to avoid such disaster as what happened in the Cordillera Administrative Region last year?” Surely, expected answers will be passing an ordinance or resolution to help improve disaster risk reduction and management, Implement the law, Give orders, and the like. These answers are general in its state. Everyone can speak these answers but only those with solid intensions will answer in a more specific way. Specifics means technical. Not necessarily as scientific as the DOST, but as detailed as planting 1,000 trees in a year.
The CAR region is also home to forest fires. What ideas could one have to prevent these forest fire? Purchase more fire trucks and long fire hoses? What if the fire cannot be reached by the road?
And of course, 9 to 18 earthquakes happen every day in the Philippines. Mostly are so weak that it can’t be felt by an individual. But when a strong one occurs, the mountains shake and may cause damage. Remember that earlier this month, there was a shake felt with epicenter at Zambales and claiming at least 18 lives (when a structure collapsed). It was felt too in Benguet, which makes me wonder, what can an aspiring candidate do to ensure that we do not experience same occurrences after an earthquake?
There are also Vehicular Accidents along the highways, Floods (in Baguio City and La Trinidad), drowning in Pools and rivers, and many others that claims life and properties. These are still part of DRRM problems in our community that government officials needs to look into because they will dictate direction of the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management in the Municipality and Province. They are the decision makers in implementing the law of DRRM.
So, if you want the DRRM reach you, make sure your elected public officials are interested, at least, in implementing it, so we all have the same vision of being disaster resilient community in the future.