CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- The effects of climate change through the recurring disasters remain a major hurdle to the development of the province of Pampanga but it can be mitigated with the right preparations and strategies.
This was the key message conveyed during the Kapihan ng Mamamayan (KNM) on Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction organized by the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) and the City of San Fernando Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office last July 30 at the Heroes Hall Mini Convention, City of San Fernando, Pampanga.
The KNM is part of PIA’s commitment to celebrate the National Disaster Consciousness Month and to intensify the agency’s Climate Change advocacy campaign.
With this year’s theme, “Kahandaan at Kaligtasan ng Pamayanan, Pundasyon ng Kaunluran”, the goal of the public forum was to raise the awareness of the people on climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction management.
Raymond del Rosario, head of City of San Fernando Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, said the forum was very significant for the ordinary citizens given the worsening climate and natural disasters.
During the forum, the participants conveyed their concerns in times of disasters such as typhoon, earthquake and volcanic eruption. The participants were primarily interested in knowing more about the dynamics of flood control as well as the workings of the evacuation system.
With the vision of empowering communities for climate change adaptation, several experts and government officials from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) were invited to address the questions of the participants.
San Fernando Vice Mayor Jimmy Lazatin said that the city government is working towards the realization of a disaster-prepared city.
He added that the “different local government units and constituents must be must be prepared and equipped in advance to mitigate the effects of disasters, whether it is typhoon, earthquake or volcanic eruption.”
“What we want to showcase here are the programs of the local and national government in mitigating disasters and adapting to climate change,” said del Rosario as he emphasized the importance of feeding the citizens with the right information about the challenges confronting their localities.
Citing the recent success of the disaster team during the typhoon Glenda, Lazatin said the “city government makes sure that they are always ready for any eventuality.”
Lazatin also highlighted the local government’s ability to empower its 35 barangays to hurdle any major disasters that may affect the city.
The local government, however, could not and should not do it alone.
According to del Rosario, the challenges imposed by climate change and disasters can be addressed with the right policies and joint local and national programs. Collaboration with the people, moreover, is also essential in ensuring the safety of the citizens in any calamity.
“Similarly, we would like to encourage the city constituents to do their part in helping the government, even the smallest things matter in solving the issue of climate change,” explained Del Rosario.
The initiatives of the citizens, Del Rosario said, must always start from their homes. This can be done through the simplest practices such as proper waste segregation and water conservation.
The city government also reiterated their disaster preparedness through various trainings and gears. They have also been collaborating with the different civil society groups in order to ensure the fast delivery of relief operations.
For the City of San Fernando, strong collaboration paves the way for disaster resiliency. The disasters may shake the city, but the ingenuity of their resiliency cannot be broken.