LOCAL government units (LGUs) should not wait for the “last minute” before taking action to safeguard their communities and people from typhoon and other emergency hazards.
The Department of the Interior and Local Government reminded local chief executives to prepare for disasters this early.
“Huwag nating hintayin ang unos bago tayo kumilos,”said DILG Undersecretary and spokesperson Jonathan Malaya.
The Philippines has been identified as among the global disaster hotspots and ranks third in the World Risk Index 2018.
During a media forum on LGU Protocols and Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) at the local level, Malaya said LGUs are mandated by law to carry out disaster preparedness actions, and if necessary, emergency measures before, during and in the aftermath of disasters and calamities in their jurisdictions.
He mentioned three important roles of LGUs which is to reduce risks, reduce vulnerabilities and respond and recover in times of disasters.
“We know that we must build the capacities, readiness and resiliency of LGUs and the communities but building resilience is not just a matter of teaching the technical staff or acquiring technical know-how.
“That is why the support and the political will of the governors and mayors and the local legislative bodies are very important,” Malaya said.
Local executives, who are also the chairpersons of their respective local disaster risk reduction and management councils, should be physically present in their LGU stations to prepare for an impending typhoon or other calamities or else face administrative sanctions.
The DILG in previous instances had penalized several mayors who were nowhere to be found when a strong typhoon struck their areas of responsibility.
He said the DILG through its Local Government Academy has developed “Operation L!STO,” a national advocacy program for disaster preparedness and disaster risk management at the local level which advocates the disaster readiness not just of the LGUs, but also of the communities and families at the household levels.