Councilors focus on disaster preparedness

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    CLARK FREEPORT – Solid waste management, disaster preparedness and illegal drugs were the main focus of the training and seminar of the Pampanga chapter of the Philippine Councilors League (PCL) at the Oxford Hotel here Thursday last week.

    However, PCL-Pampanga President Mike Tapang said this time emphasis is made on disaster preparedness since the typhoon season has come. Tapang said there is a need to create a permanent position for disaster officers in every city and municipality in the province in order to attain a semblance of order during times of disasters.

    Tapang’s call was an offshoot of the difficulty expressed by Angie Blanco, chief of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (PDRRMC) of Pampanga, who said it is very demanding to train disaster officers who were merely appointed by mayors since they get replaced soon after the administrations change.

    “Kailangan magkaroon na po ng permanenteng position ang ating mga disaster management officers nang sa gayon hindi na co-terminus ang mga ito (There is now a need to create permanent positions for disaster management officers so that they will no longer be co-terminus),” Tapang said.

    Blanco lamented that they always train disaster officers but once they learn disaster preparedness and how to cope and manage them, they get replaced. “Lagi namin tini-train, kaso co–terminus itong mga nasabing appointees ng mga munisipyo (They always train them but the problem is the appointees are co-terminus),” she lamented.

    Tapang called on his colleagues to enact ordinances that would create a department of disaster management for their cities or towns. “So ngayon magiging departmentalized na siya, permanent na ang position.

    Magkakaroon ng ordinansa, mag pafile po tayo sa sangguniang panlalawigan (So now they are going to be departmentalized, they will become permanent positions. There will be an ordinance, I will file it in the provincial board),” Tapang assured.

    He said he will file a resolution “urging all chief executives to create their environment and natural resources officer and to create a DRRM officer.”

    Tapang also said an ordinance on “forced evacuation” on communities in clear and present danger will also be enacted as part of the disaster preparedness.

    “Sinabihan ko po sila na gumawa ng batas na katulad ng ginawa namin sa sangguniang panlalawigan na kung saan ay magkakaroon po tayo ng forced evacuation na kailangan ma-adopt po ito ng bawat bayan dito sa ating lalawigan,” he said.

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