Review of Baguio DRRM plan ordered

BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan ordered the Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (LDRRMO) to spearhead the conduct of a comprehensive review of the city’s 5-year disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM) plan to conform with the prevailing trends on the wrath of natural and man-made calamities.

The local chief executive said that the recent experience of Baguio City during the onslaught of Tropical Cyclone Ompong should serve as the benchmark in working out the needed review of the existing DRRM plan to ensure that the concerned government agencies, the local government and most especially the people will always be ready for the worst case scenario during the onslaught of natural and man-made calamities.

He added that the Cordillera office of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB-CAR) already provided the local government with a copy of the listed geohazard areas in the different barangays which will be used as one of the basis in the crafting of the appropriate recommendations on how to improve the local DRRM plan to allow disaster resiliency among concerned stakeholders.

“We already gave instructions to the concerned offices of the local government to spearhead the immediate review of our existing DRRM plan to incorporate whatever doable recommendations that should be put in place to prevent the occurrence of untoward incidents that will pose a serious threat to life and limb,” Domogan stressed.

He claimed that the rain-induced landslides in Lucnab, Kias and other parts of the city were the areas where landslides were unexpected, thus, the need for concerned barangay officials in places where the occurrence of landslides have been identified to start motivating people to work on the put up of appropriate drainage systems in mountain slopes to ensure that water will have easy access to the creeks to prevent the inducement of landslides in the said places.

According to him, initial findings showed that one of the major reasons that triggered the landslides in the different parts of the city was that water did not have easy access out of the slopes that caused the same to cause the landslides and even the total destruction of structures in the said places.

He pointed out that one of the contributory factors to the occurrence of the various landslides citywide was the record-breaking rainfall for 12 hours on September 15, 21 wherein the rainfall recorded in the city at the height of the weather disturbance was 97 milliliters compared to the supposed month-long rainfall of only 565 milliliters.

As of last week, Baguio City recorded some 13 deaths, most of whom due to the occurrence of landslides, while 2 people are still missing after the wrath of the typhoon on all parts of Northern Luzon.

Domogan asserted that the appropriate recommendations of the concerned government agencies, offices of the local government and concerned stakeholders must be done the soonest so that the mitigating measures could already be implemented once there will similar weather disturbances to that of Ompong will again visit the Northern Luzon area.

He also directed the LDRRMO to provide the barangays with the list of landslide-prone areas in their places so that barangay officials will have the chance to revisit their own barangay disaster risk reduction and management plans for possible alignment with whatever changes that will be introduced in the city’s existing DRRM plan to abate possible threats to life and limb during the occurrence of natural and man-made calamities in the coming months.

By Dexter A. See

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