By Minerva Newman
CEBU CITY – The disaster risk management officers of the different local government units of Cebu, Bohol, Negros Oriental and Siquijor have organized themselves into the Central Visayas Regional Association of LDRRM Officers to cohesively pursue the thrust of stronger community resilience and to push for the creation of the Department of Emergency and Disaster Resilience (DEDR).
The organization of local disaster management officers is the newest local government league in Central Visayas and elected Bohol PDRRMO Anthony Demalerio as its first president.
Regional DRRM Council (RDRRMC) chair and OCD-7 regional director Eugene Cabrera cited Bohol for its dedication and commitment to disaster risk reduction and management through activities and programs that contribute to building resilient communities in the region.
Cabrera also cited the crucial role of the LDRRMOs in the implementation of DRRM activities and programs as well as the various aspects of pre, during, and post-disaster issues and programs including rescue, rehabilitation, and more.
In one of the forums in Tagbilaran City in celebration of the National Disaster Resilience Month in July, DRRM officers and stakeholders highlighted community resiliency, LGU presence and issues/concerns related to DRRM on the “Seal of Good Local Governance” and many other concerns that include guidelines on the declaration of state of calamity, rehabilitation, and recovery management service.
Bohol Governor Arthur Yap said there is a need for heightened resilience in different fronts to sustain the gains of peace and public safety, economy, and development.
“On confronting natural and man-made calamities, we must do our best to climate-proof Bohol through better disaster preparedness including climate insurance for the agriculture sector, without let-up in our focus on internal security concerns within our borders,” Yap said.
Damalerio said that apart from strengthening the league, the organization wants to lobby and push for its top agenda which is the creation of the Department of Emergency and Disaster Resilience (DEDR).
The group elected four vice presidents, one for each of the provinces in the region, namely; Gemma Marie Villamor of Medellin for Cebu; Queenie Melody Fullante of Dauis for Bohol; Adrian Sedillo for Negros Oriental; and Blezela Mae Omictin for Siquijor.
Other officers are Secretaries, Maria Riza Coguisa of Dimao in Bohol and Alvin Santillana, Talisay City, Cebu; treasurer, Rizal Benatero, Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental; auditor, Rex Colong, San Juan, Siquijor; press relations officers for external and internal affairs, Richard Fernandez, Tuburan, Cebu, and Jeryl Fuertes, Candijay, Bohol, respectively; and sergeant-at-arms, Felix Suico, Mandaue City, Cebu.