Regional DRRM summit eyes stronger, more prepared disaster councils

Disaster council officers and members from the four provinces of Region I gathered Wednesday to upgrade their capacities and capabilities in becoming stronger and more prepared in the face of calamities and disasters.

Assistant Secretary Christopher Purisima of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said the recent events in the country reflect its situation as one of the world’s most vulnerable countries to hazards, thus the need to further empower the people.

Purisima, who represented Undersecretary Ricardo Jalad, said the more local government units capacitate themselves, the less chance that they put other people’s lives in danger.

“Our DRRM efforts are integral to the survival of our DRMM programs. An informed populace is an empowered populace which translates to a safe populace,” Purisma said during the summit held at the Sison Auditorium.

Regional Director Melchito Castro of the Office of Civil Defense in Region I was elated of the solid partnership of all the provinces in the region and it was evident in their attendance to the event.

“The summit is a manifestation that we are serious in making our region safe and prepared for disasters,” Castro said.

Vice Governor Ferdinand Calimilm, who represented Gov. Amado Espino III, said being prepared is second nature to Pangasinenses and the Filipinos.

“As humans and responsible members of society, we have each other’s experiences to learn from. Pagbalik natin sa ating mga probinsiya, dala natin ang mas maayos na safety and security programs,” Calimlim said.

Highlights of the summit included the cascading of the national disaster response   plan and the Japanese technology for Integrated Geographic information system (GIS) for the advancement of regional disaster prevention.

A ceremonial turnover of the “Ligtas at Aktibong Pamayanan” posters by the provincial government to youth representative John Mark Mangapot from the Pangasinan State University was also held to encourage the youth to become proactive in disaster preparedness. (VENUS MAY H. SARMIENTO/PIA-1, Pangasinan)