Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Maasin City strengthens disaster preparedness, conducts contingency planning

Maasin City strengthens disaster preparedness, conducts contingency planning
By R.G. Cadavos
Philippine Information Agency
July 12, 2011

MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte, July 12 (PIA) –- Maasin City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (CDRRMC) has conducted an on-going contingency planning among 5 recipient-barangays of the Strengthening Disaster Preparedness thru SMS Technology project spearheaded by the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP).

Ritche Sumalinog, a staff from the City Engineer’s Office here said “we have already finished three out of five of the beneficiary-barangays in the disaster risk management and conducted a planning activity in preparation for any calamity.”

These barangays mentioned are Mambajao, Soro-Soro and San Rafael, while Gawisan and Lunas will follow thereafter, Sumalinog who assisted the planning disclosed. The 5 barangays are the recipients of (2) cellphones each from the PBSP project tying up with Smart Communications and the World Bank.

“During times of crisis, contingency plans are often developed to explore and prepare for any eventuality, designed to inform citizens and concerned officials during a calamity by the use of short messages system (SMS) technology through cellphone, Sumalinog bared in an interview.

He further added that the (1) Blackberry cellphone is assigned to the Barangay Chairman in each barangay , while the other one is given to the one identified by the barangay leader, mostly those in-charge in the information unit basing on the BDRRMC organization.

The project will apply mobile phone SMS technology to improve the communication system among DRM organizations at various levels of the DRM command chain not only in Maasin City but throughout the province. There are identified pilot municipalities of the PBSP project throughout Southern Leyte, these are Malitbog, Bontoc, Libagon, Liloan, San Francisco, Pintuyan, San Ricardo, Saint Bernard, and Hinunangan and the city of Maasin.

The project also aimed to assess existing vulnerabilities; implement disaster avoidance and prevention procedures; and develop a comprehensive plan that will enable the organization to react appropriately and in a timely manner if disaster strikes.

Maasin City Engineer Aniceto Narit is the Action Officer of the CDRRMC while Mayor Maloney Samaco chaired the council, it was learned.