LESS than 50 of 182 barangays in Davao City have disaster response plans this year, a Davao City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (DCDRRMC) official said.
DCDRRMC administration and training chief Lyndon Ancajas said some barangays became more focused in responding to the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic causing the delay in submitting their barangay disaster plans.
“Yung iba sa kanila draft pa and some of them are hardly hit by the Covid-19 issue. Siguro on their end, wala talaga masyadong nakatutok doon and they are more focused on the actual response ng Covid-19 (some of the barangays are still drafting their disaster response plans while others are still responding to the pandemic),” he said.
He said they expected barangays to submit the disaster response plans by May this year but due to the health crisis, they have extended the deadline.
He added that disaster response plans of the barangays are important because natural and manmade disasters such as floods, fire, earthquakes and landslides may still happen in the time of the pandemic.
The barangays were also asked by the CDRRMC to identify their isolation facilities and additional evacuation areas during disasters amidst the Covid-19 pandemic and physical distancing must be observed.
“Dapat per purok, meron silang separate na assigned evacuation centers para hindi naman mag congest lahat sa usual na isang evacuation lang (the puroks should have assigned evacuation centers to decongest the existing evacuation),” he said.
“They will just use an existing building and convert it to a possible evacuation or isolation area for persons under monitoring (PUMs) and patients under investigation (PUIs). These areas should not be prone to flood, fire, landslides,” he said.
Ancajas also bared their agency will meet with other response-concerned agencies to update the existing disaster response measures of the city to make it adaptive to the current health crisis.
“It is the first time for everybody that is why it has to be settled. Wala pa tong Covid-19, we already have a system in place. Maybe we will just do a few tweaks. We will not revamp the whole system but incorporate preparedness and Covid-19 prevention measures,” he said.
Ancajas, meanwhile, warned the public of possible big waves in the city’s coastal areas as monsoon season approaches and urged the public to be alert and prepared for a disaster.
“You should now include face masks in your 'Go Bag.' Coordinate with barangays saan yung alternate na evacuation sites natin especially now that we have to do physical distancing,” he said.
“Always remember na even if nagi-evacuate tayo from earthquake or flood, wag kalimutan ang mask at ang physical distancing because that will be another problem (we should remember to wear masks as we evacuate to avoid being infected which will be another problem),” he added.