In the DRRM Caravan for Media and Information Officers last June 1 at the Dagupan Village Hotel in Dagupan City, Director Melchito Castro of OCD-Region 1 said that the council is abreast in providing intervention every time a calamity hits the province.
“If a disaster is about to hit the province, I call and ask them if they need help. PDRRMC tell us that they can manage, so that means they are very resilient and self-reliant. They will request for help when they can’t handle it themselves but as of now, they have everything under control. The PDRRMC is excellent,” said Castro.
Elated of the praise for the council, PDRRMC Chief Col. Rodhyn Luchinvar O. Oro stressed that the team’s exemplary performance has been possible through the leadership of the outgoing Governor Amado T. Espino, Jr., who has reshaped the council and its Operations Center with continuous upgrade of equipment and training of its personnel to embody its motto “Well prepared, best equipped and highly responsive PDRRMO”.
Oro pointed out that the incoming fifth district representative’s greatest legacy in his 9-year steering the council that they will carry on is his seeing disaster preparedness and response is not just to save lives but to protect properties as well, thus sustaining resiliency before and after the calamities.
He is also optimistic that such support for the council will be sustained by Governor-elect Amado “Pogi” I. Espino, III, who, as the Liga ng Mga Barangay president, has always been lending hands to strengthen the grassroots disaster response and rescue teams as well as visiting field operations himself.
“The Japan Economic Cooperative Agency-funded GeoCloud Geographic Information Sharing, a pioneering infrastructure that will empower participating local government units in the province to coordinate response, and execute roles and responsibilities of various agencies from their DRRM plans, will be realized by the time Gov. Pogi takes over the reins of the council,” Oro bared.
PDRRMO Spokesperson Avenix Arenas also in a separate interview emphasized that the council just strictly implemented Republic Act No. 10121 or the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act which calls for full exhaustion of resources before asking for relief aid from the upper management.
The caravan aims to foster stronger link between the Regional DRRM Council and the media and bridge gaps of information dissemination especially during disasters.
About 50 information officers from local government units and local government agencies and members of the media in the province attended the event.
Speakers at the lecture/forum were representatives from the four core agencies of the National DRRM Council: Imelda Acosta from OCD-R1, Rhodalyn Licudine from Department of Interior and Local Government, Maricel Caleja from Department of Social Welfare and Development, Ines Meneses from the National Economic and Development Authority.
Also tapped as lecturers were: OCD-R1 Operations Chief Mike Sabado, Philippine Information Agency-Pangasinan Manager Venus May Sarmiento and Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomy Services Administration-Pangasinan Bureau Chief Gregorio de Vera II.
/Rex Marion C. Laguerta