DESPITE Davao City's state-of-the-art equipment for disaster response, a survey spearheaded by the University of Mindanao-Institute of Popular Opinion (UM-IPO) noted that only 51 percent of the 1,200 responders expressed confidence in the city's ability to respond immediately to emergency situation.
Dr. Adrian Tamayo of UM-IPO bared during Wednesday's AFP-PNP press forum that the result of their survey, which seeks to measure the public's perception of the city's reaction to disaster, showed that only 51 percent or 617 individuals were impressed with the city's emergency response capacity, while 26 percent or 306 individuals said the city is not prepared.
The rest were either undecided or gave no response at all.
The responders involved in the survey, which was conducted last January 31 to February 8, were from the three congressional districts of Davao. They used systematic sampling to make findings generalizable with a +/-3% margin of error.
The emergency response of the city for distress calls is centralized through the Public Safety and Security Command (PSSC) where they are connected with police assistance, fire, and ambulance through 911 lines.
"Perhaps, this is brought by the uninterrupted onslaught of disasters. On December 22, parts of the city were submerged due to Typhoon Vinta, then on December 23, the NCCC fire happened which claimed 38 lives. The responders were not as quick, not as effective during those times as they expected," Tamayo said.
On the breakdown per district, respondents seeing city as not ready for disaster are mostly found in districts 1 and 2 with a combined percentage of 82 percent.
For every 50 Dabawenyos who believe that the city is not ready for disaster, 21 of them are found in District 1 and 20 are found in District 2, and only nine are located in District 3.
Residents of Barangays 11, 12, 13, 15, 16, 21, 28, 31 and 32, Bucana in Poblacion District are not convinced of the city's readiness to handle disaster.
Residents of Talomo district like in Bago Aplaya, Bangkal, Catalunan Pequeño and Catalunan Grande, Dumoy, Maa, Matina Aplaya, Matina Crossing and Matina Pangi are also not confident with the ability of the city government.
Tamayo said most of these places experienced flood and fire.
He put emphasis in Barangay Maa, which experienced double whammy last December, including widespread flooding and the massive and bloody fire that hit NCCC Mall Davao.
"We tried to look into the real sentiments of the public relating to the disaster and calamities before the city and it came out that 51 lang ang confident that the city is prepared for disasters," Tamayo said.
He said the residents of District 2 who are not confident of the city's ability to handle disasters are mostly found in Agdao, Buhangin and Bunawan.
Some 50 houses were gutted by fire on New Year's eve, while Buhangin and Bunawan are usually flooded areas.