THE City Council on Tuesday took the first step in creating the Disaster Management Ordinance of Davao City.

Approved for second reading, the resolution for its creation now sits with City Council committee on peace and public safety chaired by Councilor Nilo Abellera, proponent of said resolution.

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"The city must have a cogent requirement for pre-disaster planning, community disaster preparedness and positive, précised, disaster control action for rescue evacuation, relief and rehabilitation to ensure the survival of the inhabitants of the city," Abellera said.

Abellera, in a privilege speech, said the move is a fit corresponding action to administrative provisions calling for disaster preparedness.

"Presidential Decree 1566 calls for the 'Strengthening of the Philippine Disaster Control Capability and Establishing the National Program on Community Disaster Preparedness," Abellera said.

The Local Government Code of 1991, empowers the City Council to adopt measures to protect the inhabitants of the city from the harmful effects of man-made or natural disasters and calamities, and to provide relief services and assistance to the victims during and in the after math of said disasters or calamities and their return to productive livelihood following said events, Abellera said.

"(This is in line with the fact) that our country is on the so-called ‘Pacific Ring of Fire’, an area of frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions and has vulnerability to such kind of tragedy. The question is: If a 7.0 magnitude of earthquake will happen here, are we prepared? It appears that we are not," Abellera said.

Abellera said since disasters are unavoidable, the city must be preventive and precautionary more than being curative and reactionary in dealing with disasters.

"We should begin actively implementing measures to shore-up both the physical and institutional safeguards against disaster with particular emphasis being placed on disaster prevention. These efforts will surely dramatically reduce the number of people who will die to get injured on times of disasters," he added. (Jade C. Zaldivar)