Disaster preparedness from the community down to the households was the key message of the National Launch of the L!stong Pamayanan at L!stong Pamilyang Pilipino of the Operation L!sto program, an initiative of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), held on April 25 at Clark Freeport, Pampanga.
President Benigno S. Aquino III graced the event and stressed the importance of the participation of the community and families in order to ensure the safety of the people which is at the heart of Operation L!sto.
"Sa L!stong Pamayanan, nagsasagawa tayo ng mga dayalogo kasama ang iba't ibang stakeholders at community simulation drills para sa tsunami at storm surge. Nandiyan rin ang Community-based Disaster Risk Reduction and Management na nakatutok sa mga barangay para alam nila kung paano at ano ang gagawin tuwing may kalamidad," President Aquino said.
(In L!stong Pamayanan, we are conducting dialogues with various stakeholders and community simulation drills for tsunami and storm surge. There is also the Community-based Disaster Risk Reduction and Management which focuses on the barangays so they would know what to do during calamities.)
"Sa L!stong pamilyang Pilipino naman, katuwang natin ang DSWD sa pamamahagi ng mga gabay at mapa na nagsasaad ng mga dapat gawin sa panahon ng unos," President Aquino added.
(In L!stong Pamilyang Pilipino, we are partnering with DSWD in the distribution of guides and maps which give information on what to do during times of disasters.)
Through these programs, the government aims to empower the citizenry in facing disasters through the involvement of all stakeholders including the different National Government Agencies, Local Government Units, communities and families.
"Hindi natin kontrolado ang panahon pero hindi naman po ibig sabihin nito, wala na tayong gagawin para mailayo ang ating mga kababayan mula sa mga panganib na dulot ng mga sakuna. Nagsisimula ang kaligtasan sa tamang kaalaman at kahandaan at ito nga ang ginagawa natin sa ilalim ng ating programa," President Aquino said.
(We cannot control the weather but this does not mean that we would not do anything to safeguard our people from the dangers caused by disasters. Safety begins with proper knowledge and preparedness, and this is what we do under our program [Operation L!sto].)
A ceremonial turn-over of emergency balde or e-balde was also part of the launch which symbolizes the preparedness of each family should there be any disaster.
The e-balde contains food and water supply good for three (3) days, medicine, clothing, radio and flashlight.
The Presidents or Vice Presidents of the Provincial Liga ng mga Barangay in Region 3 were the recipients of the e-balde.
Around 900 beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) from the municipality of Magalang and cities of Mabalacat and Angeles, were also present in the event.
In his message, DILG Sec. Mel Senen Sarmiento mentioned that the 4Ps beneficiaries will be prioritized in the Operation L!sto program as they are the most vulnerable to risks brought by disasters.
This will be done by incorporating Disaster Preparedness in the Family Development Session of the 4Ps members.
The Operation L!sto program was initially launched in 2014 with L!stong Pamahalaang Lokal which institutionalized local protocols for disaster preparedness, response and monitoring. For its third component, DILG will be partnering with DSWD for the L!stong Pamilyang Pilipino.