Malaybalay to boost rescue capacity by P12 million

MALAYBALAY CITY (Bukidnon News/10 August) The Malaybalay City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (CDRRMC) is spending a total of P12 million in 2012 and 2013 to boost its local rescue capacity, CDRRMC officer in charge Alan Comiso told this reporter Friday.

Comiso said this year they are spending at least P2.3 million for basic rescue equipment for the 23-member Malaybalay City rescue team. The rest, the bigger part, will be spent next year to buy tools, equipment, and accessories for rescue, he added. Among those considered for acquisition is a rubber boat.

The city has already acquired two SKW rescue vehicles that needed to be re-fabricated.

Preparedness for floods is among the priority of Malaybalay’s CDRRMC.

Almost half or 22 of the city’s 46 barangays are considered “flood prone” areas based on its geographic information system (GIS).

Comiso cited Barangays 1, 3, 4, 7, 9, 10, and 11 in the Poblacion as among the flood prone areas.

The rest includes Sumpong, San Jose, Pat-pat, Mapayag, Magsaysay, Linabo, Laguitas, Kalasungay, Imbayao, Dalwangan, Casisang, Capitan Angel, Cabangahan, Bangcud, and Aglayan.

Comiso said aside from floods, they are also looking at the city’s other hazards; fire, landslides, and earth quakes.

As of this year, Comiso said the city has an accumulated disaster risk and management fund of P64.7 million. He added that the city government intends to spend the fund before it is reverted back to the general fund.

The city’s rescue team was formally organized only in February this year. While the team members went through training and organizing, they were sent to help in the relief operations after tropical storm Sendong in Cagayan de Oro brought havoc leaving more than a thousand dead. They also joined rescue operations of the flooding in Valencia City in December 2011.

The office is mandated to ensure public order, safety, and security; practice transparency and accountability; and sound finance and resource management.

This year, Comiso was tasked among others to operationalize the CDRRM office and oversee the DRRM at the baranay level.

They are also tasked to consolidate local risk information and assessment to disaster prone barangays, gather risk map, formulate a local DRRM plan, and to assess risk and plan contingencies.

The CDRRMO is also tasked to identify and assess disaster prone barangays and inform them of the hazards, vulnerabilities in their areas.

They were also tasked to identify and implement cost-effective risk reduction measures and to inform the public, implement and monitor implementation of Republic Act 10121 or the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management System law and climate adaptation in the villages.

But Comiso said in flood prone areas it is important to push for a “forced evacuation law” to ensure the safety of the public. (Walter I. Balane/Bukidnon News)