Gov’t, private sector unite to prevent worst disasters — Gazmin PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 02 July 2014 13:54

“The year 2013 has also shown the better side of us Filipino in the world of humanity.

Thus said Secretary of National Defense Voltaire Gazmin in his message for the annual observance of National Disaster Consciousness Month 2014 which kicked off with a motorcade in this city yesterday.

This year’s theme is “Kahandaan at Kaligtasan ng Pamayanan, Pundasyon ng Kaunlaran.”

In his four-page messsage that was read by Office of Civil Defense OIC Regional Director Jose S. Castillo, Sec. Gazmin said the country is still recovering from  disasters that struck in the last semester of 2013 – Both natural and man-made. These were the Zamboanga armed conflict, Bohol earthquake and the super typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan).

“The year 2013 tested most Filipinos as we experienced tough times, but despite that, the year has also shown the better side of us Filipino in the world of humanity – our resilience, our spirit of bayanihan, our survivalism, our hopefulness and our faith... these are the virtues that taught us to become stronger and better persons,” Gazmin said.

He added that PAGASA officially has announced the start of the rainy season which also signals the advent of the season of typhoons that are visiting the Philippine Archipelago.

“We are in a crossroad of translating tough lessons of past disasters to improvements in our DRRM system both doctrinal and practical,” Gazmin said.

In the same message, the defense secretary said the national and local governments and the private sector must work together to ensure that the citizens are ready to prevent hazards from turning into devastating disaster.

He continued, “Being conscious and prepared for any calamity is of utmost importance to effectively and efficiently manage disaster and reduce casualities and damages to lives and properties.”

In yesterday’s event, the participants were united from diferrent offices – Civil Defense Action Group 9, Zamboanga City Public Safety Company, Philippine Navy,  Air Force, Coast Guard, Department of Health (DOH), DENR, Department of Education (DepEd), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Zamboanga City Medical Center (ZCMC), South Western Action for Emergency (SAFE-CHO EMERGENCY UNIT) and students from different schools.

The opening program of the event was held at Paseo del Mar at 9:00 a.m.. It started with the singing of Philippine National Anthem and the Zamboanga Hermosa. It was  followed by a welcome remarks from DILG  Assistant Regional  Director Pedro G. Cuevas. a short Message by DOH Regional Diector Nimpa Turiso and the presentation of plaques of appreciation to deserving winners of the day’s event contests.

A “Hataw Exercise” followed with the participants enjoying the Zumba dance.

Director Castillo gave the closing remarks.

The awardees of yesterday’s event are:Best in Emegency Uniform — Philippine Navy, Best in Emergency Gadget Display — Philippine Cost guard, Most Organized — Zamboanga City Medical Center, Biggest Group —  Department of Health, Most Cheerful Group — Department of Education and Best Performing Group in Hataw — Department of Social Welfare and Development. — Abdul-Ajidz A. Abdurahman/ WMSU Masscom Journalism IV