With the start of the rainy season, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) urged Tuesday, June 22, the local government units (LGUs) to make the needed preparations and to instill measures in their protocol response to ensure public safety under any adverse conditions amid the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
DILG Secretary Eduardo M. Año noted that the pandemic presents unique challenges going into the rainy season: “LGUs should be more alert and prepared this rainy season and must ensure that all vital aspects of local disaster risk reduction and management (LDRRM) are in place.”
He emphasized that local chief executives (LCEs) are expected to be present in their respective jurisdictions especially during typhoon season.
“Patuloy ang ating paalala sa mga LCE, huwag maging missing-in-action (MIA) sa panahon ng kalamidad (We continuously remind the LCE never to be missing in action (MIA) during the times of calamities,” Año said.
In November 2020, the DILG issued show-cause orders to 10 LCEs who were outside or their respective LGUs during the onslaught of super typhoon Rolly.
Through a DILG Advisory, Año enjoined the LGUs to implement DILG’s Operation Listo Protocol for Hydrometeorological Hazards and be guided by DILG Memorandum Circular (MC) No. 2020-125 that provides preparedness measures, and other relevant issuances.
Operation Listo is an advocacy program of the DILG which aims to strengthen the disaster preparedness of LGUs using the whole-of-government approach.
In the same advisory, Año directed the LCEs to convene Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (LDRRM) Councils and conduct a pre-disaster risk assessment (PDRA) for floods, flash floods, rain-induced landslides, debris flow, storm surge, strong winds, and other hydrometeorological hazards.
The DILG chief explained that these PDRAs are vital in the protection of the people who are victims of the natural calamities including the rainy season.
He added that the structural integrity and capacity of vital facilities, especially multi-purpose buildings being used as evacuation centers and vaccination centers; LIGTAS COVID centers; health centers; and, hospitals for COVID-19 patients must be assessed.
Año emphasized the conduct of monthly assessment ensures the “top shape functionality’’, in collaboration with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Regional Offices, of all established Early-Warning Systems (EWS).
He also called on local chief executives to update the Local Contingency Plans for hydrometeorological hazards; coordinate closely with relevant agencies to ensure the unhampered logistics flow and supply chain management and enjoin family and household preparedness through the Gabay at Mapa para sa Listong Pamilyang Pilipino.