Iloilo PDRRMC to create El Niño task force

ILOILO CITY (PIA) — The Iloilo Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) is set to form its El Nino Task Force to lead the preparedness, response, and mitigation measures against the impact of the weather phenomenon in the province.

During the PDRRMC meeting on March 12, the council passed a resolution endorsing the creation of the task force, which would be composed of five key sectors, namely food, water, energy, security, health, and public safety.

“These key sectors are tasked in carrying out the mitigation efforts and implementation of actions and plans focused on their respective sectors while guided by the DRRM Thematic Areas,” PDRRMO chief retired Colonel Cornelio Salinas said, noting that the group would be led by the Provincial Planning and Development Office (PPDO) and the PDRRMC.

The Iloilo PDRRMC, led by PDRRMO chief Ret. PCol. Cornelio Salinas, convened on March 12 to discuss possible intervention and mitigation measures against the effect of El Nino in the province. (PIA Iloilo photo)

Salinas noted that other functions of the task force would include developing comprehensive strategies and plans for managing and responding to El Nino events covering all sectors; and assessing the potential risks and vulnerabilities associated in different municipalities, covering the impact on agriculture, water availability, infrastructure, and public health.

“The group should also allocate resources effectively to implement strategies and plans. They should coordinate efforts among various sectors involved in El Nino management and facilitate collaboration and information sharing to ensure a unified response,” he added.

Aside from the task force, the council is also set to form its Rapid Damage Assessment and Needs Analysis (RDANA)

team to provide accurate and timely information for decision-making and resource allocation during disaster situations.

The creation of the team would enhance the province’s capacity to assess and respond to the impacts of disasters in a systematic and coordinated manner, noting the importance of “promptly assessing damages and determining the needs of the communities affected to facilitate efficient and effective response and recovery efforts.”

Meanwhile, data from the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) as of March 11 indicated that Western Visayas already recorded P726.8 million worth of agricultural production damages due to El Nino, wherein Iloilo province suffered the largest losses at P513.53 million.

Cindy Ferrer from the OCD, in an interview after the meeting, said that some provinces, including Iloilo, are already conducting their assessment to know if they meet the parameters in declaring a state of calamity.

“So far, no province has yet to declare a state of calamity status, but there are those that are doing its assessment to meet our parameters in declaring the calamity status. It is because we can’t just instantly declare as we need to consider other factors and we need to follow the parameters based on the NDRRMC (National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council) Memorandum Order No. 60, series of 2019,” Ferrer explained.

NDRRMC Memorandum Order No. 60, s. 2019 states that at least 15 percent of the population, and at least 30 percent of means of livelihood on agricultural, business, and industry sectors are affected before it can declare calamity status. (AAL/JNH/PIA Iloilo)

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