In an effort to intensify its advocacy on disaster preparedness, the DILG in Central Luzon spearheaded by Regional Director Florida M. Dijan, hosted the Region III Tapatan Roadshow on Disaster Preparedness and Climate Change Adaptation dubbed as, “Magtapatan Tayo, Handa Na Ba Kayo”, on June 6, 2012 at Oxford Hotel, Clark Freeport Zone, Pampanga.
The Tapatan Roadshow was aimed to advocate and institutionalizethe concept of disaster preparedness among local government units regionwide and instill in the minds of the public their respective tasks and roles before, during, and after a disaster. It is also in adherence to Republic Act 10121, otherwise known as the “Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010”, and Republic Act 9729 or the Climate Change Act.
The activity was attended by a total of 655 participants composed of Governors, Vice-Governors, City and Municipal Mayors,Local DRRM Officers, Public Information Officers, SP Committee Chairmen on Environment, provincial and city CSO partners on disasters, Regional Management Coordinating Committee (RMCC) members, selected Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council members, DILG Central, Regional, Field Officers, DRRM Focal Persons and staff, national and local media, and other guests.
Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan of Angeles City, welcomed the participants and pledged his support on disaster risk reduction and mitigation program which he said should be among the priorities of the local government units.
Board Member Nestor Tolentino of Pampanga, representative of Gov. Lilia Pineda, informed that the provincial government, through its Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, has been strengthening initiatives and rehabilitation efforts in addressing the adverse effects of disasters in the province particularly the victims of Mt. Arayat landslide and floodings in the towns within the Pampanga River. He added that the province has long been preparing for disaster and coined its great concern: "Pampanga’s priority is people’s safety."
Discussed during the activity are Policy Framework of National Government on Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) and Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) and National DRRM Framework Plan by Regional Director Josefina Timoteo of the Office of Civil Defense, Weather Forecast for 2012 by Mr. Hilton Hernando of PAG-ASA Region 3, Hazard Maps of Region 3 by Mr. Noel Lacadin of Mines Geosciences Bureau (MGB) Region 3 and Enhancing Local Government Unit (LGU) Capacity on DRRM and CCA, the DILG’s response and role by Regional Director Florida Dijan.
Governor Aurelio Umali of Nueva Ecija, Governor Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado of Bulacan and the City DRRM Officer of Olongapo City shared their best practices on disaster preparedness.
Secretary Jesse Robredo, in his call to action message, emphasized the importance of disaster preparedness to prevent risks and damages that happened in past experiences. He stated the Department’s program on the Seal of Disaster Preparedness (SDP) which will serve as standard guide for LGUs to mitigate disaster and avoid casualty. He explained that through the SDP, LGUs will be assessed on their operational readiness in terms of equipment and presence of DRRM plans. He added that we cannot avoid disaster but we can do something to prevent its adverse effects. “Sa pagtanggap ng responsibilidad, kailangan ang sapat na kaalaman at paghahanda”, he said. He further mentioned, “Gawin ang pinakamaayos na paghahanda, upang sa panahon ng kalamidad, nagawa na lahat at maiwasan ang pagkawala ng buhay.”
Mayor Oscar Rodriguez of the City of San Fernando, together with his members of the Sangguniang Panlungsod, turned over to the Honorable Secretary their enacted Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Code.
Secretary Robredo also led the awarding of Performance Challenge Fund (PCF) checks to the region’s forty five (45) LGU beneficiaries composed of 1 province, 3 cities and 41 municipalities amounting to Fifty-Seven Million Pesos (Php. 57,000,000.00).
At the end of the activity, the participants signed a covenant of commitment which served as pledge of full support on disaster preparedness efforts in the region to include their firm resolve on the implementation of the local disaster risk reduction and management and climate change adaptation plans.