Cebu prepares for 2014 Disasters
by FFE PH News Staff
Two months after the typhoon Yolanda, the strongest typhoon to ever make landfall in recorded history, slammed the Philippines, the mayors of Cebu are coming together to map out a disaster action plan for the future — and they’re taking cue from the small town of San Francisco in Camotes Island.
San Francisco Vice Mayor Alfredo Arquillano said ‘What happened in 2013 and the past years may also happen this 2014. It is good to be more prepared.’ For him, raising awareness and preparedness for typhoons like Yolanda is more important now than funding. He added ‘(This action plan) will help to reduce exposure and vulnerability to the risk of disasters.’
Last November, San Francisco has been hailed by the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) for its prompt evacuation plan that saved all 1,000 residents from the wrath of the typhoon. The town recorded no casualties after the storm.
Arquillano has long been a supporter of disaster risk reduction and was Mayor of San Francisco when the town won the UN Sasakawa Award for its grassroots disaster risk reduction programme called ‘Purok System’. In this system, the entire community is organised and mobilised per barangay (village), each having its own emergency fund to use. By bringing information down to the sub-barangay level, every villager will know what to do during disasters.
The vice mayor said proper planning and being organised is a responsibility everyone must undertake. He said ‘There’s no need for rescue if people can be evacuated. There’s no evacuation if we can relocate and there’s no relocation if everything is planned beforehand.’