Capitol disaster council earmarked P108 million budget for 2014

MAINThe Province of Cebu has earmarked P108 million as budget for the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) in 2014.

Governor Hilario P. Davide III said the bulk of the budget would be spent for disaster prevention and mitigation, and pre-disaster preparedness.

This would include the purchase of equipment, supplies, trainings and capacity building to local disaster risk reduction and management councils, community-based emergency response teams, national service training program, academe and other stakeholders.

“It is important that everybody is prepared for the impact of disasters,” Davide said after the PDRRMC regular meeting at the Capitol last Tuesday.

PDRRM Office Chief Neil Sanchez also stated the need to empower their counterparts in the local government units (LGUs), being at the frontline of the situation.

The towns and component cities are expected to comply with the law on disaster preparedness, including the provision of calamity funds.

Republic Act 10121 or the “Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010” mandated local government units (LGUs) to provide at least five (5) percent of their Internal Revenue Allotment Fund to be set aside as their local DRRM fund.

The LGUs are also required to set aside at least 30 percent of the total DRRM fund for emergency response while they could spend at least 70 percent of the fund for disaster preparedness.
During the meeting, the members also agreed to create an executive committee to carry out the functions and plans of the council.

This was the first quarterly meeting of the PDRRMC. However, the council was urgently convened last August amid the ship collision accident on Lawis Ledge, Talisay that killed more than a hundred lives.

According to Sanchez, the province is still at 60 percent preparedness level for disasters. However, Cebu’s advantage is that it does not have big rivers like other provinces.

At the Cebu Provincial Stakeholders’ Consultative Summit last week, Davide said the provincial government would continue to push for a climate-smart disaster preparedness program that promotes local resiliency, the ability to adapt to changing environment and respond to disasters. (Xerxes Alkuino)