The Pasay City government is gearing up its disaster preparedness measure to ensure the safety of residents in the event heavy rains hit the National Capital Region.
Mayor Imelda Rubiano convened members of the city’s Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (DRRMO) and discussed contingency plans during emergency situation as the country battles the coronavirus disease pandemic.
Heads of the city's Health Department Office, Public Order and Safety Unit, Police Station and other frontline offices were alerted and ordered to be prepared to provide immediate relief and assistance 'in the event of heavy rains, flooding and other adverse climate-related occurrences, and the diseases they usually cause, which may heap greater difficulties on the people."
“All year round, we constantly beef up our capacity and efforts to reduce the risks of calamities and mitigate and manage their impacts in our communities. But the task ahead for us in this concern is so much bigger now because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the season of rains and typhoons,” said Mayor Rubiano.
She added “even as our offices and departments, and the Pasay LGU as a whole, are routinely and continuously boosting our city’s preparedness and response capacity to any adverse occurrences—natural or so-called man-made, we are even doubling our efforts now on this task especially in these current trying times."
Disaster Risk Management Chief Dr. Boyet Maranan, for his part, assured the city chief executive that his office has constantly beef up its personnel, equipment and facilities, and have a substantial number of trained personnel grouped into two shifts.
He said they have the 24/7 Standby Response Teams at the city’s Incident Command Post (ICP) located at Pasay Sports Complex; Fiber Boats with outboard motors; life vests, sets of emergency ropes, ring buoys and other disaster response gear.
The DRRMO maintains ambulances and other emergency response vehicles. The office also has an installed Rain Gauge at the ICP.
For Pre-Disaster Activities, the city government constantly conduct Information Dissemination on Safety tips; and have distributed “Dapat Alam Natin!” Tarpaulins on weather classification, typhoon signals, thunderstorms and other weather advisories.
The local government also preparing and maintaining Evacuation Centers and undertake continuous monitoring of relevant information especially weather forecasts.
Last month, the weather bureau declared the start of the rainy season in the country and called for everybody’s precautionary measures for expected ‘typhoons, tropical depressions, widespread and strong rains and southwest monsoon or hanging habagat.’
These occurrences often also cause flooding in wide parts of the country and even landslides and tidal or storm surges, or the sudden rise of sea water level and surges of tall waves.
Records showed that the Philippines gets an average of 20 typhoons a year. The country already had two this year -- Typhoon Ambo (International Name ‘Vongfong’) in May and Tropical Depression Butchoy last June.
The bureau has projected many more of such occurrences for the rest of the year such as July (2 to 4 tropical depressions, typhoons or heavy rains); August (2 to 3); September (2 to 3); October (2 to 3) and November (1 to 2).
The Department of Health also cautioned the people about the rainy season-related diseases and outbreaks such as cholera, diarrhea, leptospirosis, influenza and dengue.
The agency stated that last year, over 430,000 cases of dengue, more than 138,000 cases of influenza and about 479 cases of leptospirosis all over the country were recorded.
The Department of the Interior and Local Government, for its part, has likewise urged LGUs to integrate health safety protocols in local disaster plans for the rainy season amidst COVID-19 threat.