To enhance operational readiness in responding to disasters even amidst a pandemic, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) urges all barangays to use the Geohazard Threat Advisories issued by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Mines and Geosciences Bureau (DENR-MGB) as bases in formulating and updating their contingency plans.
“Hindi mamaya na kundi ngayon na. Preparation is done in peacetime, not near or during the time of disaster. Bagaman may pandemya, nariyan pa rin ang banta ng sakuna. Let’s keep our guards up not only against COVID-19 but also natural disasters," said DILG Undersecretary for Barangay Affairs Martin B. Diño.
In an advisory, Diño enjoins barangay officials to take a proactive stance in disaster risk reduction (DRR) using the geohazard threat advisories which are regularly issued to their Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (DRRMC).
“Past experiences proved that preparing conscientiously for disasters can substantially minimize loss and damages from natural hazards. Hence, in a disaster-prone country like the Philippines, the importance of contingency planning to come up with timely, effective, and appropriate response measures cannot be overemphasized,” he said.
The MGB Geohazard Threat Advisories provide critical and up-to-date information on susceptible areas to geohazards and suggests preemptive measures for local government units (LGUs) to carry out.
In the same advisory, Diño prodded barangays to take note of areas declared as highly susceptible to floods, landslides, liquefication, and other ground instabilities, and perform early preparedness actions.
All barangays are also advised to coordinate with their City or Municipal DRRMC and the local DENR-MGB for any questions and concerns regarding geohazards affecting their areas of jurisdiction.
Meanwhile, DILG Undersecretary and Spokesperson Jonathan Malaya stressed the importance of early disaster preparedness and reminded LGUs to refer to their “Operation L!STO Manuals” for guidance in addition to utilizing the DENR-MGB Geohazard Threat Advisories.
Malaya also urges the public to keep themselves informed by reading said advisories which are available through the DENR-MGB website (www.mgb.gov.ph) and Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/OfficialMinesAndGeosciencesBureau).
According to Republic Act No. 7160 or the Local Government Code of 1991, LGUs are mandated to adopt measures and protect their inhabitants from the harmful effects of manmade or natural disasters. Likewise, Republic Act No. 10121, also known as the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010, mandates LGUs to conduct planning activities.