Capitol, partners sign MOA for disaster preparedness training

IMG_2518The provincial government has forged a pact with private sector partners for the implementation of a community-based disaster risk reduction and management project for Cebu.

Dubbed as Noah’s Ark, the memorandum of agreement was signed by Governor Hilario P. Davide III with Conchita M. Ragragio, executive director of the Corporate Network for Disaster Response (CNDR) and Ramon R. Isberto, Public Affairs Group head of Smart Communications, Inc.

Vice Governor Agnes Magpale, Marilou G. Erni, General Manager Petron Foundation, Inc. and ReenaVillamor, assistant vice president, Advertising and Communications, Pru Life UK/Prudence Foundation, witnessed the signing.

In thanking all the project partners, Govenor Davide said he was embarrassed that the province of Cebu does not have a comprehensive contingency plan in times of disasters.

He added that disaster preparedness is the top priority of his administration. When he took over last June, the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office was the very first office he inspected.

The past disasters: the ship collision, earthquake, and the category five (5) super typhoon Yolanda that pounded northern Cebu has taught the province a lesson, Davide added.

“I hope the forthcoming trainings and workshops will really help all our local governments, including the provincial government of Cebu, and our co-workers here on disaster preparedness,” he said.

The project is patterned from the Albay Public Safety and Emergency Office’s (APSEMO) disaster preparedness plan of the disaster-prone province of Albay, which had zero casualtyin 16 years except in the year 2006.

Dr. Cedric Daep, head of APSEMO will be supervising the eight (8) month training.

CNDR members Smart, Petron, and Pru Life are the principal sponsors of the project. The “training of trainers” beneficiaries will be the key decision-makers in the 43 towns and seven (7) component cities in the province of Cebu.

Under the MOA, Smart will provide financial support amounting to P872,660.00; P600,000.00 from Petron; and P436,330.00 from Pru Life/Prudence to implement capacity building activities of the project. Xerxes Alkuino