Senator Chiz Escudero wants an immediate audit of all local government units (LGUs) on their compliance with the mandated disaster risk management plan as the onslaught of La Niňa continues to inflict damage on different parts of the country.
Escudero, chairman of the Senate national defense committee, has put to task the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to check all LGUs if they have established possible evacuation centers and if they keep a map of the danger and risk areas in their localities.
“The amount of water that strange torrential rains bring to different parts of the country is already alarmingly dangerous. Rains have been wreaking havoc even to provinces that are usually spared by typhoons,” Escudero said. “All localities must brace themselves for any eventualities. There must be no single local unit caught unprepared anymore.”
The senator reminded local officials that under Republic Act No. 10121 or the Disaster Management Act of 2010, all LGUs were mandated to establish disaster management offices and maintain local disaster risk information such as danger and risk areas.
Escudero said the last time a report was submitted to him only 15 percent of the LGUs had complied with the law.
“It may have changed already because that was last year. If the audit finds a 100-percent compliance, that’s good news and calming for us. Otherwise, the DILG should prod each single locality to institutionalize the policies and programs on disaster risk reduction than be sorry,” Escudero said.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) warned that the country had already entered the La Niňa period last October which would continue until May, bringing strong and frequent storms that may trigger flashfloods and landslides.