Today's Punto
Today's Punto
Defense shield

Jun 15, 2017

FROM PRONENESS, indeed, pestilence, in disasters, Pampanga has risen to excellence in addressing disasters.

Credit its Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) for initiatives and breakthroughs that have become best-practices templates for other provinces.

The first in Central Luzon is the PDRRMC’s construction and establishment of a three-storey permanent evacuation center in Barangay San Isidro in Magalang town. Notable as well is its conversion of two Pinatubo-era technology centers in Porac and Floridablanca towns into evacuation centers.

Pampanga pioneered in land banking with its purchase of a 10-hectare area in Barangay Sta. Maria, Mexico as a relocation site, maximized as a trading post for the agriculture sector.

It has likewise engaged a novel color-coding scheme of houses in remote coastal barangays for evacuation-rescue operations, to wit: orange for the elderly, red for persons with disabilities and the sickly, and yellow for children.

To keep in tip-top shape for any eventuality, the PDRRMC routinely conducts training and drills in evacuation and evacuation management.

Information dissemination being a key factor in disaster-preparedness, it has – on hand – for that purpose a trained network of 550 public school teachers and 9,000 mothers as “Nanay” community volunteers to assist village leaders.

A vital cog in the PDRRMC network is the multisectoral partnership it has forged with the Pampanga Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Filipino- Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Philippine Red Cross, Pampanga Association of Water Districts, Pampanga Truckers Association, Center for Emergency Aid and Rehabilitation Inc., Pampanga Disaster Risk Reduction Network and Association of Health Workers.

Its inventory of equipment for rescue missions and medical emergencies is the envy of other provinces, including facilities for potable water supply and five backhoes on-barges for declogging waterways.

It even undertakes regular mangrove planting in coastal communities in order to create a natural belt against storm surges from Manila Bay.

It is no wonder that Pampanga’s PDRRMC has been bestowed the National Gawad Kalasag award for effective leadership in disaster risk reduction and management program.

To Gov. Lilia G. Pineda, the chairperson, and Vice Gov. Dennis G. Pineda, the executive officer, Mabuhay po kayo!

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