AFTER incorporating several changes to reflect suggestions and recommendations made by the members of the august body the revised City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Plan (CDRRMP) as resubmitted by the City Administrator’s Office was finally approved by the City Council last Monday.

Under the revised CDRRMP the new office or organizational structure of the CDRRM still comprises a CDRRM Officer IV and a CDRRM Officer III as well as three CDRRM Officer II and three CDRRM Officer I but also now includes additional personnel such as three CDRRM assistants or Clerk IV with salary grade 8 and three Administrative Aide III with salary grade 3. The changes were made in accordance with the suggestion of city councilor Betty Lourdes Tabanda in the previous regular session who opined that the CDRRM must not only be staffed with officers but must also include other personnel such as clerks and drivers. As further explained in the revised CDRRM plan, there are at present twelve (12) personnel on Job Order Status manning the Operations Center (OpCen) and two (2) permanent personnel from the City Administrator’s office assigned to head the OpCen on a concurrent capacity. In order to fully operationalize the DRRM office the ten (10) proposed remaining positions shall be created in the 2015 budget.

Another major revision made in the CDRRM plan is the exclusion of projects and programs funded by the calamity fund in the year 2013 which was previously included in the original CDRRMP and was one of the major points of discussion during the previous regular session of the city council. Although already removed from the revised CDRRM plan submitted to the august body, the aldermen still raised some issues concerning projects and programs funded by the calamity fund in 2013 on whether they have already been obligated or paid and what to do with these projects and programs. Those invited to act as resource persons, to include the City Administrator Atty. Carlos Canilao, City Planning Officer Engr. Evelyn Cayat, and a representative from the Budget Office, reasonably explained that all projects and programs for 2013 which were funded by the calamity fund have already been obligated and paid, and were merely included in the original CDRRM plan to show and reflect those projects implemented using the calamity fund.

The revised CDRRMP which was approved by the city council has a plan cost of P 176,842,103 for the year 2014, P 92,327,000 for the year 2015, and P 100,664,700 for the year 2016 with the total plan cost covering the three year period in the amount of P 369,833,803.00.

Nonetheless the approval by the city council of the said plan came with several conditions which have to be accomplished in order that the CDRRM plan can be effectively realized in the subsequent years of its implementation. One of these conditions is that the plan has to be resubmitted to the council for its consideration particularly in the revisions to be made in the Annual Investment Plan (AIP), another is that the CDRRM plan must be re-submitted to the city council every year thereafter for the approval of the city council. Finally, another condition is that subsequent changes to be made to the plan must be submitted to the city council for its due consideration.

It may be recalled that an approved and implementable CDRRM plan is a requisite as provided by law in order that a local government unit can avail of and utilize the calamity fund which is 5% of the approved annual budget of an LGU.