Disaster preparedness: Focus on 60,000 families in NCR
MANILA, Philippines - It's the typhoon season, and the government is bent on implementing its 3-year-plan to move 60,000 families out of waterways and mitigate the impact of disasters in Metro Manila.
In a command conference at Camp Crame on Monday, June 10 to launch Disaster Preparedness Week, Interior Secretary Mar Roxas also said every community will have a plan that calculates if the rain will be ankle, knee, thigh or waist-length.
"Information is one of our biggest weapon to being disaster prepared," he said. "If we know for instance that this millimeter of rain will fall in a river for example, then DOST (Department of Science and Technology) can calculate how high the water in the downstream will be. That way, we can disseminate the information and these communities will be warned," he said.
Roxas said emphasis is on the estimated 60,000 families in the National Capital Region who live on waterways or on the side of waterways. "They are most vulnerable to the rise of water during typhoons so they are also in the center of this planning so we can decrease, if not avoid fatalities," he said.
Key areas in the country, especially NCR, have experienced heavy rain in the past few weeks.
The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) aims to mitigate the impact of hazards and attain zero casualty from disasters through an "effective early warning system, enhanced capacity of local responders and a systematic search, rescue and evacuation procedure," according to a DILG statement.
Roxas said the plan is to move informal settler-families (ISFs) who live in geohazard areas to off-site, near-site or on-site areas of their choice. He said part of the government's 3-year plan will "help finance their transfer."
"The point is these 60,000 families who live on or the side of these waterways, can't stay there for a long time. They are not only giving themselves a problem, but also all of the NCR metropolitan area. If water flow isn't good, they're not the only ones experiencing flooding but all of NCR," Roxas said.
DILG Undersecretary Francisco Fernandez said they were also making sure the relocated spots would be "safe, decent and accessible to livelihood," and that the transfer would be "humane, just and [done in a] friendly manner."
He said the families involved are not opposed to relocation, adding they simply want to clarify certain things regarding the plan. Fernandez gave assurances the families will be consulted prior to their relocation. - Rappler.com