BONTOC, Mountain Province – As year 2019 comes to an end, the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (MDRRMC) is grateful that Bontoc has been spared from major calamities for the whole year round.
This was evident with the report of the MDRRM Office during the 4th Quarter meeting of the MDRRMC on December 10, 2019 at the Bontoc Municipal Capitol.
“We are thankful to the Almighty that our Ili ay Kalalaychan has been saved from major calamities,” Mayor Franklin Odsey remarked in a separate interview.
Mayor Odsey who is also the Chairperson of the MDRRMC, however, said that this should not diminish the interest and enthusiasm of the members of the council and other stakeholders to attend council meetings, discuss issues, plan, and implement the programs and activities in relation to disaster prevention and miti¬gation, preparedness, response, rehabilitation and recovery, and other support programs.
Among the notable accomplishments from January to December 2019 presented to the council members are the provision of various trainings to students, barangay officials and members of the Bontoc Emergency Response Team (ERT).
Aside from strengthened Information Education and Communication (IEC) campaign on disaster preparedness in an occurrence of typhoon, landslide and other hazards, Flood Early Warning Signages and Landslide Early Warning Signages were installed and tested.
Also, seven project proposals after the Post Disaster Analysis and Needs Assessment (PDANA) for Typhoon Ompong and Rosita were submitted to the Office of the Civil Defense – Cordillera, and another project proposal was submitted to the DOST-CAR for the acquisition of communication equipment for the enhancement of the Municipal Emergency Operations Center.
To inculcate to the mind of the public the importance of disaster preparedness, the MDRRMC spearheaded the conduct of the quarterly National Simultaneous Earthquake Drill (NSED) to all schools in Bontoc, business sectors, establishments and private institutions along Poblacion national highway. Aside from this, a fire drill was conducted in the Municipal Capitol participated in by the employees and their clients.
The same as last year, the DRRM Skills Challenge –Year 2 was conducted which was participated in by six public high schools in Bontoc.
MDRRM Officer Johanna Padaen thanked everyone and credited the accomplishments to the concerted efforts of the council, all partner agencies, stakeholders, and the community.
“The MDRRM Office cannot do it alone. It is because of all your unending support, help, and assistance that we were able to accomplish all of these in building a disaster- ready and disaster resilient community,” Padaen added.
Padaen likewise presented to the council the Plan of Activities for the year 2020 focusing on the four thematic areas to include Disaster Prevention and Mitigation, Disaster Preparedness, Disaster Response, and Disaster Rehabilitation and Recovery.
On Disaster Prevention and Mitigation, the Bontoc Local Government Unit (LGU) plans to forge a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)/ MOA with local financing institutions such as cooperatives to extend calamity loans to victims of disaster; maintenance/purchase of billboards/signages. Also, there is a proposal to provide compensatory benefits and accident insurance to volunteer or community emergency responders. Further, additional multi-hazard and/or early warning system will be purchased and installed. Considering the distance of the other barangays to the town proper, and Radio Communication Network (Repeater System) shall be established and additional hand held radios shall be provided to be used by the 16 barangays. Furthermore, repair of the water works system in the locality, and construction and repair of other infrastructure projects will get bulk of the budget for 2020.
On Disaster Preparedness, the Bontoc LGU assures continuous conduct of capacity building programs, and enhancement, maintenance and upgrading of the Operations Center and its staff. This includes provision of various training to the members of the Bontoc ERT and the different sectors of the community, and purchase additional DRRM equipment and kits.
On Disaster Response, it focuses on timely and provision of Logistical support to council members and responders or volunteers and timely and effective conduct of Search and Rescue and/or retrieval. Also, it ensures ensure the availability of relief goods to the affected population and immediate purchase, hauling, and delivery of relief goods, medicines, and other medical supplies to the affected population.
On Disaster Rehabilitation and Recovery, the Bontoc LGU intends to reconstruct/ rehabilitate damaged infrastructures. Aside from this, Livelihood trainings and programs for victims of disasters, trauma assessment, stress debriefing, counseling and therapy for victims and service providers shall be provided.
Sangguniang Bayan member Jerome Tudlong, Jr. who presided over the meeting assured that issues and concerns, and agreements by the council members will be relayed to the chief executive.
By Alpine L. Killa