cagayan de oro

Communities play a crucial role in disaster preparedness

July 15, 2019

Director Rosauro Arnel Gonzalez Jr, Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC-X) chairperson emphasized this during the Talakayan sa PIA held at SM City Cagayan de Oro on Wednesday, July 10.   He was backed by Mylah Faye Aurora Cariño, regional director of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA-X) saying that aside from institutional preparedness, the people should also be prepared.   “Even in our homes or offices, we should be prepared. We should be aware of the protocols for any calamity that may happen,” she said.   Knowing the hazards in a particular area can help in putting in place mitigation measures.   Cariño said everyone should heed the lesson from the Sendong experience which she described as a costly lesson for the region.   “We cannot always afford to recover and rehabilitate because it is very costly. When you rehabilitate an area, you always build back better’, she cited.   The NEDA-X director added that funds could be used for further development rather than for recovery and rehabilitation.   NEDA-X serves as the vice-chair for disaster recovery and rehabilitation of the RDRRMC-X.

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5.5 quake in Surigao Sur: 38 structures damaged; 58 persons sustain minor injuries

July 14, 2019

CAGAYAN DE ORO (MindaNews / 14 July) – Saturday morning’s magnitude 5.5. quake damaged at least 38 buildings in the five Surigao del Sur  towns while at least 58 residents sustained minor injuries. Authorities said 26 persons were “slightly injured” in the municipality of Cantilan; 17 in the neighboring town of Madrid; 14 in the town of Carmen and an eight-year-old boy who was pinned down by a cabinet in the town of Lanuza. A report by Surigao del Sur  police chief, Col. Francisco Dungo, Jr., said 14 structures were damaged in Madrid, 13 in Cantilan,  while 17 residents were slightly injured; 13 in Cantilan, four in Carmen, Carrascal, and three in Lanuza. “Slightly injured,” he said, were 17 in Madrid, 26 in Cantilan, 14 in Carmen, and one in Lanuza. “Damage to the highway and houses especially those poorly constructed were substantial,” Police Captain Edgar Fernandez, chief of the Lanuza  police station told MindaNews. Fernandez said the highway in Carmen town sustained some damage and residents placed old tires to warn motorists of the danger. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said the 5.8-magnitude struck the eastern seaboard of Mindanao at around 4:42 a.m. Saturday. It said the quake was tectonic and recorded at a depth of five kilometers. Liza Mazo, chief of the Office of Civil Defense in Caraga said  the tremor led to the collapse of the entire ceiling of the parish church in the town of Carmen. Besides the church, Mazo said the quake damaged buildings and houses forcing residents to flee to the streets.. Mazo said two fire trucks in Madrid town were damaged when the fire station also collapsed. “I held on the door because the quake was strong and I could barely stand,” Fernandez narrated. Fernandez said electricity in the towns near the epicenter went out immediately after the quake struck. Mazo said many of the patients were rushed to hospitals in Tandag City. (Froilan Gallardo / MindaNews) 

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DPWH assures more flood control projects under Build Build Build

July 13, 2019

Villar, during the inauguration of P788 million Tagoloan River Basin flood protection dike in Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental reiterated tragedies like typhoon Sendong eight years ago cannot happen again.   Typhoon Sendong brought heavy rains causing massive flooding in Cagayan de Oro, leading to painful deaths to thousands of people and destroying millions worth of infrastructure.   “These tragedies inspire us to build the P778M flood mitigation project,” he said.   The flood mitigation committee of DPWH through the Japan aid program initiated the construction of flood control projects since the Ormoc tragedy (flooding) in 1991 which resulted to deaths of more than 8,000 residents.    Villar said, because of this, Ormoc City is one of the pioneers in conducting operation and maintenance for the flood mitigation committee with the leadership of the LGU and assistance of DPWH.   Now, funded through a loan agreement from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the flood control structure in Tagoloan Misamis Oriental involves construction of a 692 meter upstream and 1.9 kilometer downstream revetment structures as well as excavation works and drainage improvement.    Ambassador of Japan to the Philippines, Koji Haneda said disaster risk management is a concern with high priority.   “The natural calamities that disrupt lives and economic activities call to fortify our communities is now louder than ever,” he said.   The Tagoloan River Basin is one of the largest of its kind in the Philippines, priority area for flood risk mitigation in the country.    The construction of river dikes and improvement of drainage channels is expected to secure economic gains and the lives of the locals in general from the destructive impact caused by flooding.    In our effort to further facilitate our bilateral cooperation in this field, Haneda said, we have also convened the Japan and Philippine policy dialogue on disaster risk reduction and management two years ago.   The DPWH as one of our dialogue partners, he explained, has been working double time with us in building structural defenses and paving the way for development to flow into the local communities.   Here in Mindanao, we expect to work closer with DPWH to concretize Japan’s support for $202 million road network development project in conflict affected areas, he said.    Aside from flood control projects, Secretary Villar assures more project will be coming to Mindanao to solve traffic decongestion and road widening.

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Normin boosts disaster preps, unveils command, control center site

July 11, 2019

To effectively coordinate disaster preparedness and response measures and monitor disasters that will occur in Northern Mindanao, as well as control equipment and manpower sources that will be deployed during calamities, construction of Government Command and Control Center paves its way at Lumbia Airport, here. The P77 million-worth facility is designed to effectively and efficiently deliver the activities necessary, or which an involved agency is specialized with, especially in the field of communications, warning signals, emergency transportation, evacuation, rescue, health and rehabilitation, public education, and other auxiliary services.    This is to ensure the protection and welfare of the people during disasters and emergencies. Office of Civil Defense 10 Regional Director Rosauro Arnel Q. Gonzales and Department of the Interior and Local Government 10 Regional Director Arnel M. Agabe affirm that partner agencies are stepping up their collaborative efforts when it comes to disaster preparedness measures. “We place our focus to the most vulnerable barangays in our local government units, which we consider as high-risk areas,” said Agabe.    With this, we gear up in being more proactive in our approaches to strategically come up with appropriate mitigation, preparedness, response, actions, and plans, Agabe added.     The facility’s ceremonial groundbreaking and laying of time capsule conducted July 4, was graced by National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Chairman Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, together with other involved agencies. Construction of alternate Government Command and Control Center for Mindanao is funded under the General Appropriation Act (GAA) 2019. It involves the construction of three-storey multi-purpose building, including the state-of-the-art operational center and situational analysis and communication virtual room, and conference room that can accommodate up to 30 persons. With a lot area of 1,284.122 sq.m., said project is one of the slated significant projects of the Department of Public Works and Highways 

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Gov’t rescues 51 trafficked IPs from Bangus farm in Luzon

July 11, 2019

Some 34 IPs, including a seven-month-old baby and a four-year-old girl arrived at the Cagayan de Oro’s Macabalan Port early morning of July 9, after being rescued by government authorities from inhumane and harsh working conditions in a bangus farm somewhere in the province of Pangasinan.   The IPs rescued, 51 in all, including the 17 who arrived on July 8 via land transport, are from the Manobo-Pulangihon Tribes of Botong, Quezon, Bukidnon, according to NCIP Region 10 Director Pinky Grace Pareja. It was learned that the National Commission on Indigenous Persons and the Department of Social Welfare and Development facilitated the rescue at the national level.   The rescued IPs were escorted to Botong, Quezon by IP leaders from Region 10 NCIP and PNP Regional Office 10.   They were welcomed by Barangay Botong Punong Barangay Nehru Tan  and shortly thereafter, a community dialogue was conducted with the following speakers: Mr. Dominandor Gomez from the commissioner of Northern and Western Ethnographic Region, Virginia Andagan of MSWD Quezon, Datu Ilaji Ilawan the municipal IP Representative in Quezon, Bae Soyda Lataran who is the spokesperson of the Manahan Clan from Kimtras and LTC Franklin Fabic who is the CO of 88th Infantry Battalion.   A meeting was held at the Quezon Mayor’s Office involving line agencies to address the immediate concerns like food assistance and jobs, of the rescued IPs.   The proposed interventions of the LGU as a result of the meeting, include immediate food assistance- 15 sacks of rice will be provided to the IPs; job opportunities for 30 persons will be given by Del Monte.   Furthermore, the MSWD and DSWD 10 will evaluate the victims of human trafficking and determine what assistance to be provided to them.   On the issue of land conflict which allegedly was the reason why the IPs sought jobs in other places, the NCIP will conduct an inventory of the CADT areas to know the real situation.   It was learned that of the 17 rescued in Region I, only 14 are from Region 10. They were reintegrated in Bukidnon, 9 in San Fernando town and 5 in Quezon town.   These trafficked persons were provided 6,500 by DSWD Region 1; P3,500 is for their transportation allowance and 3,000 for financial assistance.   Meanwhile, the Regional Task Force in Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict said member agencies like DILG, DSWD, and DOH are already in Barangay Botong to look into the needs of the rescued IPs. The other member agencies are expected to provide other needed interventions.

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Community support crucial in crime prevention – PNP 10

July 11, 2019

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – Police regional office Northern Mindanao underscored the importance of community support to help prevent crimes and terrorism threats in celebration of Police Community Relations (PCR) month. In an episode of Talakayan sa PIA, Police Lieutenant Colonel Elias Hampac, Officer in Charge of the Regional Community Affairs and Development Division said this is an opportune time to strengthen the community participation in crime prevention. Hampac explained the focus of PNP for this month is to gain support from community to implement crime prevention activities. The theme this year, “Sambayan, Mahalagang Kaakibat ng Kapulisan sa Pagtaguyod ng Mapayapa at Maunlad na Bayan.” PNP has already established good relations with the community.  Police LTC Hampac said the lower units, provincial stations have assigned PCR officers to conduct fora and various dialogue especially to students in schools.  Meanwhile, Police LTC Mardi Hortillosa, Cagayan de Oro City Police Office (COCPO) spokesperson explained they want to maintain peace and order in the city through police visibility.  COCPO implements 95-5 distribution. This means 95% deployment and 5% administrative function to ensure police is present in every area.  The police have also developed crime statistics.  They can now determine where crime usually happens, when, the kind of victims and modus operandi, among others. Hortillosa said, this is to also study and provide the kind of intervention applicable to these incidents.  But there are also criminals who are smart and can still find an area to commit crime where police are not there.  This is the time, Hortillosa said the police need force multipliers and the community itself.  He added, as per instruction of the new Police City Director Colonel Henry Dampal, police visibility should be maximized. COCPO has put up checkpoints in borders and main highways as response to the heightened alert against terrorism threats. “The community should not only rely to police especially on terrorism threats because not all information can be sought by the police or the intelligence community,” Hortillosa said.  Bombings in Cagayan de Oro and Marawi have proven how community can help prevent these incidents, he added. Right now, Hortillosa said they have good relations with the barangays since barangay tanod or barangay peace and security officer is now under the operation control of the police.  “Before, we always complain about the lack of police personnel, but the question now is what can we do to safeguard our area of responsibility?" "The barangay is there; you just need to reach out,” Hortillosa said.

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