The Bacolod City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council was adjudged as the best CDRRM Council in Region VI and one of the top three nationwide, due to its flagship program on flood control and disaster preparedness, Joemarie Vargas, City Risk Reduction Management head, said yesterday.
Vargas said Bacolod also won the same award in 2009 due to its response system. But this year, the evaluators gave emphasis to the flood control and earthquake preparedness program of the city, he said.
Although this year's evaluation was very strict, Bacolod still got a good rating from the Office of the Civil Defense in Manila, Vargas said.
The Cities of Makati and Butuan, won first and second places, respectively, he said.
Vargas said the awarding rites were held at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City Tuesday where the winners received trophies and cash prizes.
He said that due to the new law on risk reduction, the flagship program of Mayor Evelio Leonardia is flood control, so the city purchased a sewer jet amounting to P21 million and that was the focus of the evaluators when they were in Bacolod.
Vargas noted that the neighboring cities like Talisay, Silay and Bago experienced flooding. But in Bacolod, flood waters are quick to subside, so that was the benchmark the evaluators saw a few months ago. They saw that the initiative of the city for its flood control program was effective, he said.
The evaluators also saw the city's program on earthquake preparedness where earthquake drills are being conducted every three months in public schools and some establishments are also implementing them, he added.
Vargas said they will give focus to fire safety in the barangays as suggested by Vice Mayor Jude Thaddeus Sayson during a meeting because this is also important.
He said they will train all barangay tanods in the city starting next month and this will be done by cluster.
Vargas recalled that in 2009, there was a fire incident in Barangay 19 that claimed the lives of 17 people.
“We do not want this to happen again and we will start the training in November and December so that by March, during fire safety month, we will hold a Fire Safety Olympic in Bacolod City," he said.*CGS