“Local chief executives as heads of their local disaster risk reduction and management councils must without hesitation do pre-emptive actions to evacuate vulnerable residents. Times like this is when public service has to be most accountable, responsive and foresighted,” DILG Assistant Secretary Jonathan Malaya declared in a statement.
Walter Bollozos
Evacuation ordered in danger zones
Emmanuel Tupas (The Philippine Star) - September 15, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) yesterday directed local officials to evacuate areas prone to flooding and landslides in Ilocos, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon and the Cordilleras.

“Local chief executives as heads of their local disaster risk reduction and management councils must without hesitation do pre-emptive actions to evacuate vulnerable residents. Times like this is when public service has to be most accountable, responsive and foresighted,” DILG Assistant Secretary Jonathan Malaya declared in a statement.

He cited a report from their field office that storm surges six to seven meters high would likely hit the coastal areas of Northern Cagayan, including Pagudpud in Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur.

“Every minute counts. Immediate evacuation should be to areas that are more than 10 meters above sea level, regardless of distance from the coastline,” said Malaya.

In La Union, Ilocos Sur and Pangasinan, the DILG also ordered local officials to evacuate residents along riverbanks and coastal areas.

In Central Luzon, officials warned of floods in Nueva Ecija, Pampanga and Bulacan.

For Metro Manila residents, Malaya said they should prepare for moderate to heavy rains which could lead to flash floods in low-lying areas.

National Police Commission (Napolcom) vice chairman Rogelio Casurao yesterday directed police to put in place measures to ensure a timely response for communities that will be affected by Ompong.

“We have a standing instruction to all police elements to actively respond to the challenges that the present typhoon is posing on our community,” he said.

He reminded police officers to respond to emergency situations in calamity areas.

“Our police in all regions are one of the potent groups that could respond and our police have been very successful along this line,” said Casurao.

Director Eduardo Serapio, chief of the police Directorate for Police Community Relations (DPCR), said police units would also assist in relief operations.

Highway Patrol Group (HPG) director Chief Supt. Roberto Fajardo said the officers and personnel of the units were placed on standby status to help in clearing operations of debris and traffic control along major roads in Luzon.

“We will see to it that all major highways are safe and secure for our motorists,” said Fajardo.

Meanwhile, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) deployed quick response teams (QRTs) trained on evacuation center management, psychosocial support and facilitators of child and women-friendly spaces in areas affected by the typhoon.

“All QRT personnel in our field offices in Cagayan Valley, Ilocos, Cordillera Administrative Region and Central Luzon are now deployed and on standby 24/7 to accommodate possible augmentation requests and other technical assistance coming from our partner local government units,” said Social Welfare Secretary Virginia Orogo.

DSWD personnel from the central office in Batasan Hills, Quezon City were also deployed earlier to the Cordilleras and Cagayan Valley last Sept. 12 to augment the regions in their disaster response operation.

“We assure the public that we will prioritize the safety of all our affected citizens, especially the disadvantaged sector including children, persons with disabilities, pregnant women and the elderly. We will provide all the necessary assistance and services to them,” she added. –  With Cecille Suerte Felipe, Rainier Allan Ronda

 

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT
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