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LGUs told to update disaster plans, hazard maps amid looming La Niña

MANILA: The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Wednesday urged local government units (LGUs) to update their disaster action plans and hazard maps to mitigate the effects of the looming La Niña phenomenon.

In a Bagong Pilipinas Ngayon briefing, DILG Undersecretary Marlo Iringan said local officials must also regularly hold meetings with their respective disaster risk reduction management councils and conduct a La Niña pre-disaster risk assessment.

“Kinakailangan din na magkaroon ng close coordination with PAGASA (Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration) at with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) particularly iyong ating Mines and Geosciences Bureau nang sa ganoon ma-update iyong kanilang mga (There should also be a close coordination with PAGASA and with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, particularly our Mines and Geosciences Bureau to update their) local hazard maps on rain-induced landslides and floods,”
Iringan added.

He also called for an aggressive clean-up of estero and other waterways to reduce flooding as part of mitigation measures under the agency’s “Operation Listo”.

The”‘Operation Listo” is an advocacy program of the DILG that aims to strengthen the disaster preparedness of LGUs using the whole-of-government approach which institutionalizes local protocols for disaster preparedness, response, and monitoring.

Iringan also cited the need to assess the structural integrity and the capacity of vital facilities such as evacuation centers.

‘Kinakailangan nasusunod iyong mga specifications. At dapat ang mga ito ay hindi located doon sa (The specifications must be followed. And these should not be located in) high-risk areas as identified by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau of the DENR,’ he added.

While most LGUs have already established at least one evacuation center, Iringan said the DILG is assessing the need for some areas to have around two to three evacuation centers to accommodate more evacuees.

He also said the use of schools as evacuation centers is only a last resort.

“But in extreme cases na kinakailangan pong gamitin iyong mga paaralan ay kumukuha po ng pahintulot mula sa (where we need to use the schools, we secure permission from the) Department of Education,” he added.

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. earlier directed LGUs to brace for La Niña, which is expected to bring above normal rainfall conditions in the country.

This comes as the country is still reeling from the effects of the El Niño phenomenon.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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