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Int’l science organization to conduct needs assessment for disaster preparedness

by Irma A. Guhit/PIA

Sorsogon City, April 4 (PIA) — The Earthquake and Megacities Initiaitive (EMI) will conduct here today a one day- workshop on capacity needs assessment for disaster risk reduction preparedness and response for the province of Sorsogon specifically on earthquakes.

In attendance will be members of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (PDRRMC) and some selected national government line agencies .

EMI is a non-profit international scientific organization established in the Philippines in 2004 with a local mission of advancing urban risk reduction policy , knowledge and practice through mainstreaming of disaster risk reduction in local government functions and processess and developing tools to support local disaster risk reduction management by connecting cities through knowledge sharing mechanisms.

Based on the EMI research findings, Sorsogon has been identified throughout the Philippines as one of the four provinces in Luzon as highly vulnerable earthquake prone provinces, the three are Benguet, Cagayan, and Laguna.

It can be recalled that the province of Sorsogon with the presence of one very active volcano, Mt Bulusan according to Phivolcs has a number of tectonic quakes experienced almost everyday in the municipalities within the areas near the mountain. Some are usually unfelt and some are felt when these quakes are more than 2 in magnitude.

With the current events happening all over the world like Japan, Netherlands, Indonesia and Mynnmar , it is very imperative according to officer-in-charge of the Sorsogon Provincial Disaster Risk Management Office (SPDRMO) Jose Lopez to find out where Sorsogon is, its capacity needs , gaps and scientific knowledge-based response to this kind of natural disaster.

The process of the workshop according to Lopez is more on focused group discussion with key informants interview of selected provincial officials and department heads on the in-place – initiatives to be undertaken if and when such occurences will come.

Currently, according to Lopez several trainings were already conducted to identified barangays and municipalities which are considered highly vulnerable to quakes and volcanic unrest by capacitating their Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Management Councils (MDRRMCs) and Barangay Disaster Risk Reduction Management Councils (BDRRMCs)

According to Lopez there were successive trainings conducted already during last month of March, here at El Retiro and the other in Sto Domingo, Albay dubbed as the Mt. Bulusan Summit Disaster Preparedness Response.

He stated also that tody in the workshop both the representatives from the Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) and the PRRMO will each share a 15-minute report on the current initiatives undertaken by their offices regarding earthquake preparedness and response.

The orientation on the Disaster Risk Reseliency Indicators (DRRI) will be shared by Mr. Mariano S. Deocariza from the EMI. and will be a basis of identifying gaps.

This morning’s training-workshop hopes to surface and document the gaps in terms of the provincial earthquake disaster preparedness and response and with these gaps identified, to come up with tools and mechanisms for a provincial collaborative initiative that will basically be part of a cohesive protocol , accessible and well- explained to members , to the public and to the basic communities which is the essence of mainstreaming to develop a resilient community according to Lopez.(MAL/IAG, PIA Sorsogon)

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