Issue of November 3, 2019
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Abra hosts DRRM caravan
by Christian Tubadeza

BANGUED, Abra – The Cordillera Regional Disaster Risk and Reduction Management Council (CRDRRMC) recently led a caravan that served as a venue for the regional, provincial, and municipal stakeholders to discuss concerns and challenges in the implementation of disaster-related policies and programs.

One of the main issues raised during the caravan is poor Internet connectivity, especially in upland areas.

Licuan-Baay LDRRMO Erosbon Sabedo said the Municipal DRRMC often struggles to submit their reports especially during a typhoon due to fluctuating signal.

CRDRRMC Chair and Office of the Civil Defense Cordillera Director Albert Mogol, who led the caravan, said they will appeal to the National Telecommunications Commission for the upgrade of networks’ cell sites in the upland areas in the Cordillera to establish an intact communication network of MDRRMOs.

The Abra Police Provincial Office also committed to open their radio communications in all municipal police stations for the MDRRMCs to convey their reports to the operation center in case of network problems during calamities.

Mogol lauded the LDRRMOs for timely submission of reports despite problems on network connectivity.

Another concern raised is the undertrained LGU personnel for disaster mitigation and response.

Mogol requested all the MDRRMCs to submit their training proposals, particularly with Basic Incident Command System, so that the OCD will provide them technical assistance on disaster response trainings.

OCD-Cordillera also suggested for the LGUs of Abra to appoint a permanent LDRRMO.

Based on the report of the provincial DRRMO, 20 towns out of the 27 have permanent positions of LDRRMOs while the rest are designate only.

Mogol said LGUs must identify a location that is not prone to disasters and with an area of 3,000 square meters for the establishment of an evacuation center per municipality.

For areas with mountainous terrain, the OCD allows a minimum of 800 sq.m.

Rep. Joseph Bernos pledged support to all LDRRMOs in the procurement of their disaster equipment and the establishment of more flood controls in flood-prone barangays.

The 5th leg of the DRRM caravan was also attended by Abra DRRMC Chairperson Gov. Maria Jocelyn Bernos, Vice Gov. Ronald Balao-as, Abra DRRM Council members, and local DRRM officers.

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