All local government units (LGUs) must be audited for compliance with disaster risk reduction and management plan as mandated by Republic Act (RA) 10211 or the Disaster Management Act of 2010, Senator Chiz Escudero said.

Escudero, chairman of the Senate committee on environment and natural resources, urged the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to conduct a comprehensive review and assessment of local government’s adherence to the disaster risk management and response, even after the department’s issuance of a policy requiring LGUs to reorganize and enhance the capacities of their respective local disaster risk and management council.

DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo said in a report that 69 out of the 79 provinces in the country have already complied with the law, while 114 out of the 138 cities have followed suit. The report also cited compliance by 1,128 out of 1,496 municipalities.

Compliance in the barangay level, however, has yet to pick up as there are only 1,699 barangays out of the 42, 025 nationwide which have so far complied with the provisions of the law.

With the law in effect, Escudero stressed that no single unit of the local government should be excused or exempted from integrating disaster planning, management and response into their governance.

“We need 100 percent compliance. The lessons of the past tragedies should by now already strengthened and stabilized disaster management and response in every nook and cranny of our local units as natural disasters could now strike anytime, weather notwithstanding” Escudero said.

RA 10121 requires the establishment of Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (LDRRMO) in every province, city and municipality. Each LDRRMO is also required to have an LDRRM plan, which it shall implement together with local partners and stakeholders.

“All LGUs must conduct hazards and risks assessment, establish possible evacuation centers and keep and update a map of the danger and risk areas in their localities. With these fundamentals coupled with strict adherence to warnings and recommendations, we can avert tragedies like the ones that recently struck Cagayan de Oro, Iligan and Compostela Valley,” Escudero explained.