Ms Sonia Soto (left) of CLTV 36 during her live interview with RD Florida Dijan (right) of DILG and ARD Elena Escano (middle) of DBM
Department of the Interior and Local Government III Regional Director Florida M. Dijan was invited as guest at CLTV 36’s special edition entitled “Lupit ng Habagat” yesterday, August 9, 2012. With her in the live interview, hosted by Sonia Soto was Department of Budget and Management III Assistant Regional Director Elena Escaño.
In the midst of this present calamity, which strikes almost the whole of Central Luzon, RD Dijan said that local officials are now more prepared and empowered, the same statement DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo highlighted during the latter’s interview at DZMM.
Through Republic Act 10121 or Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) Act of 2010, utilization of DRRM Fund is very clear. “Hindi katulad noong tinatawag pa natin itong calamity fund, hindi malinaw kung saan pwedeng gamitin ang pondo sa disaster”, she said. From the 5% DRRM fund, 70% can be used for preparedness while 30% can be utilized when calamity strikes. Furthermore, RD Dijan said that preparedness involves LGUs’ purchase of equipment for rescue operation such as rubber boats.
Also, part of preparedness is the capacity building of barangay officials and rescue teams being led by the DILG in partnership with the Office of Civil Defense and Department of Environment and Natural Resources. One of the training outputs is their respective CBDRRM Plan. This is also one of the important tasks of DRRM Officers, i.e. to ensure that their respective LGUs have DRRM Plans. According to RD Dijan, to date, 35% of barangays in Central Luzon has DRRM Plans.
The RD also mentioned that nearby LGUs can help each other by utilizing their DRRM fund to purchase equipment. “Pwedeng gamitin at ipahiram ang mga equipment na ito sa kung anong Local Government Unit ang nangangailangan, sapagkat kasama ng empowerment ay ang pagtutulungan ng mga LGUs”, she said.
In times like this, RD Dijan said that Public-Private Partnership (PPP) is being manifested. She took the chance to express her gratitude to those private organizations, local government units within and outside the region, and even individuals who sent rescue teams, relief food as well as those who offered their places to accommodate people who need to be evacuated from their flooded places.
In her final message, the DILG Director informed the public that the DILG, together with other government agencies in Region III are doing all efforts to help those affected by flood. She further added that government employees manning the Operation Centers of different NGAs are working hand in hand in order to address the needs of affected people particularly in the provinces of Bataan, Bulacan and Pampanga, which were declared under state of calamity.