In response to the pressing need to prepare and heighten awareness on the devastating effects natural and man-made disasters, the Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council (PDCC) staged the One-Day Disaster Risk Management Seminar attended by all city and municipal civil defense deputized coordinators (CDCCs) in Pangasinan last December 16, 2008 at the Narciso Ramos Sports and Civic Center Gym.
The seminar was supported and co-sponsored by the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) Region I.
PDCC Executive Officer and Provincial Civil Defense Deputized Coordinator Paterno Orduña, in his welcome message said, “civil defense was organized primarily in preparation for the advancement of measures necessary for the protection of lives and property.”
He compared the times when it entailed a lot of time to organize a response to disasters as in the case of the 1990 earthquake when it took days to form a taskforce. “But today, he added, we are more prepared.”
Col. Orduña cited the devastation of Typhoon Cosme where the PDCC was able to immediately set up a tactical operations center even before the typhoon battered the province. “The first response is to set up a center to direct operations,” he said.
“Unforeseen events without organized civil defense, hindi makakayanan, Col. Orduña elaborated. It is sad to note, however, that we only remember civil defense or the disaster coordinating council in the months of June and July when rains and typhoons are frequent. In a country like us where natural disasters such as earthquake and typhoons are inevitable and with the proliferation of groups with different beliefs who use violence to deliver their political message, disaster management should be the responsibility and concern of each and one of us.
On a higher note, Col. Orduña commended Governor Amado T. Espino’s projects and programs that are not only for the welfare of Pangasinense but also in preparation for any eventuality. The upgrading of our provincial, district and community hospitals can be considered as a preparation to mass-casualty scenario where at least we have somewhere to go to that are more ready, better equipped and more responsive.
He also praised the governor’s plans of providing handheld radios to barangay captains next year that will be linked up to police stations, hospitals and the operations center of the PDDC that will facilitate fast and better communication for situations requiring quick response.
In addition, two new ambulance units will also be provided to each of our government hospitals in the province that will be at their disposal in cases of emergency. All of these, he said, are for the overall preparation of the province to calamities and disasters.
PS/Supt. Percival Barba’s inspirational message, delivered by P/Supt David Rapisoro, Jr., centered on disaster management as being a national issue. He said that it is indeed very encouraging that though we were down many times in the past because of natural calamities that occurred in the country, we did not go helpless but instead, shown the true identity of what is a Filipino that is for being always ready to lend a hand for everyone in need.
“Disasters affect everyone—the poor, the children, old men and women who have less capability. The socio-economic and environmental impacts of disasters lead to loss of lives, environmental degradation, disruption of communities, and urban migration,” he said.
The following are the resource speakers and their topics: Engr. Gregorio de Vera of PAG-ASA, Understanding Hydrologic Hazards, Warning and Forecasting; Aireen Fuclan of the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) Regional Office, Earthquake Hazards, Understanding Tsunami Alert Warning and Requirements for Attachments in Claiming Financial Assistance from NDCC; Imelda Acosta of OCD, The Current Philippine Disaster Management System, Civil Defense Deputization Program and Establishment of Emergency Operation Center; Alicia Bang-oa, Calamity Fund Management; and Maricel Caleja, Incident Reporting on Human Casualties, Damaged Houses and Services.
Among those who attended the seminar were city and municipal civil defense deputized coordinators, police officers and mayors Roberto Martinez of Infanta and Ernesto Acain of Labrador.(PIO/Rafael Manuel)