Climaco: Bring science to life in disaster readiness campaign PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 08 April 2014 12:00

Mayor Beng Climaco yesterday told participants of the Zamboanga leg disaster readiness information campaign to bring science to life by exploring and learning both about science and climate change, what actions people can do to reduce green house emissions, preserve the environment and build safer and resilient communities.

“Use  practical knowledge and skills that would empower you and your communities to take action in benefit of a common and universal good. Get involved in protecting a common and universal value by doing little things around you,” Climaco said, citing the lessons that the city learned from the Zamboanga siege and the natural calamities that followed last year.

She said her administration envisions a disaster-ready community that shall be able to respond to natural calamities and secure lives of its people.

“Human security and a safe environment are paramount and are intertwined with basic human rights, socio-economic growth and our yearning for peace and progress,” Climaco stressed.

She said city adopted last year the Zamboanga City Risk Reduction and Management Plan (ZCDRRMP), which is a pre-emptive and calibrated response to the challenges besetting the environment, the society and the people in the midst of climate change and human-induced calamities.

“Let us work together for a more sustained resilience and effective leadership in the disaster risk reduction management,” Climaco further told the participants of the two-day disaster readiness information blitz organized by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).

Dubbed “Iba na ang Panahon: Science for Safer Communities,” the event brought together several local chief executives, disaster responders and risk reduction managers from across the Zamboanga Peninsula in a bid to help them understand the possible impact of natural hazards on their respective communities.

In his message, DOST Assistant Secretary Raymund Liboro pointed out the importance of applying science in drawing up scenario-based strategies and protocols in dealing with calamities by emphasizing early warning and early action to achieve minimum loss that can then lead to quick recovery.

“In our communities, you, the local chief executives and disaster managers serve as the first receivers of information and warnings and act as first responders during calamities. It is therefore imperative that you develop that capacity to understand and translate these science-based information and warnings into response strategies, policies and actions within your local area of responsibility,” Liboro further told the city/municipal mayors present.

He said the local chief executives are not alone in facing disasters as the DOST, DILG and the Office of Civil Defence of the Department of National Defence have teamed up to ensure local communities can be made safer using science and technology coupled with local knowledge from communities.

Citing the lessons learned during the onslaught of Yolanda, Liboro said the DOST had come up with a four-point agenda to support the call for “Early Warning and Early Action:” increase local risk knowledge, enable communities to monitor hazards, test warning and communications protocol, and build community response capability.

Meanwhile, Liboro said the disaster readiness information campaign hoped to spur the right disaster imagination by which the local chief executives can think and act two steps forward by anticipating—using scientific data—the potential of a hazard to wreak havoc in communities.

“Our early warnings should do just that—trigger disaster imagination that will prompt early action,” he emphasized. — Vic Larato