Cotabato City (21 May 2015) – The Department of the Interior and Local Government of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (DILG-ARMM) has launched its disaster preparedness program, dubbed “Oplan Listo”, aimed at improving the region’s immediate response to natural and man-made calamities, including armed conflicts.
Oplan Listo is a disaster preparedness program of the DILG provided under R.A. 10121. It is basically an orientation drive on local government units (LGUs) on what to do in times of calamities.
Anwar Malang, ARMM Secretary of the Interior and Local Government, said the orientation campaign will be replicated to cater not only to LGUs but also to civil society organizations, and the youth, including that out-of-school, in the entire region.
Sec. Malang also said that his department has already started rolling out the same campaign in the island provinces as well as in Maguindanao.
Recently, the DILG distributed disaster preparedness manuals, which will serve as a guide for LGUs in planning responses to incoming disasters as well as in formulating disaster preparedness plans that will assist them in knowing what to do and how to meet the minimum levels of readiness.
The manual contains a checklist of actions necessary to be taken accordingly by Municipal Local Government Operations Officers, Mayors, Chief of Police and Fire Marshalls in case of disasters. It also provides appropriate steps in order to avoid preparation mistakes during disasters.
Although ARMM hardly experiences strong typhoons, the region is still very vulnerable to other disasters such as flooding, drought, change in temperature, and conflicts among others. Sec. Malang, however, encourages LGUs to do more, beyond what is within the manual depending on the context and conditions.
“We advise them to make careful disaster planning based on local hazard and risk maps to help them be hundred percent ready and not entirely dependent on the disaster manual,” he said. (Bureau of Public Information)