The deaths tolls wrought by the Tropical Depression Usman to the families of the victims both the dead and the survivors are now memories for their families, community and of course to our local disaster managers.
The horrors and despairs of the tropical depression that was painted in tears and blood as we bid goodbye to 2018, the Year of the Dog.
Although it has made landfall in Borongan, Eastern Samar and has weakened into a low-pressure area and the tropical cyclone warning signal has been lifted it has still inflicted damages on lives and properties – not by strong winds, but through severe flooding and landslides.
The inclement weather has prompted the NDRRMC to issue its Red Rainfall Alert warning at 9:00 o’ clock in the morning of December 29 placing the provinces of Albay, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, and Sorsogon under that alert category.
The NDRRMC in its SitRep #6 has clearly issued the local government units along the paths of the Tropical Depression Usman to embark on their Preparedness Measures and Effects of the tropical depression.
Clearly, the NDRRMC message is to inform all the government units to implement their respective disaster preparedness plan or risk mitigation planning options and actions to enhance opportunities and reduce all possible risks that TD Usman may bring.
In Barangay Sogod, Tiwi, Albay one of the landslide hard-hit village in Albay, a local villager has quipped that he does not understand what was the meaning and implications of the term “Red Rainfall Alert Warning” to the disaster preparedness.
His narrative was guileless and childlike.
NDRRMC being the communicator has done its part to convey the message to the local government units since the weather disturbance became a full-fledged tropical depression.
There was a miscommunication somewhere along the way on the part of the receiver as the message was intended to mitigate damage at the minimum.
The study says that there is an importance of effective communication in governance. If the communication part is inadequate, there would be no effective reform will be viewed as it will going to fail as it cannot impose authority effectively on its constituents.
No reforms, clear message will be harder to get and a consistent engagement between the government authority and its constituents is not a doable goal.
There are three primary functions of government communication: informing, advocating/persuading (for policies and reforms), and engaging citizens. Communication represents an important function of government, responsible for improving three principal elements of government: effectiveness (building broad support and legitimacy for programs), responsiveness (knowing citizens needs and responding to them), and accountability (explaining government stewardship and providing mechanisms to hold governments accountable.
A whole of government approach to planning, and programming and budgeting national security is a concept that could establish a unified effort between inter-governmental agencies to maximize all available resources in a collaborative effort is a clear indicator that it is not yet applied in the local disaster risk reduction management councils.
The 57 reported casualties as per [11:30 o’ clock in the afternoon of December 30, 2018] OCD 5 UPDATE in the provinces of Camarines Sur -23, Albay-15, Masbate-7, Sorsogon-6 and Camarines Norte with 6 clearly explains that there were no proper communications channels going down to the villages in strictly imposing forced and pre-emptive evacuations on residents residing in hazard zones.
In this recent turn of events, the province of Albay was put in a bad light with 15 casualties – once it has dominated the Gawad Kalasag Awards of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council [NDRRMC] as a Hall of Fame awardee.
With 15 deaths being a consistent performer and was placed in the honor roll of the annual Gawad Kalasag Awards for the past six years – Albay’s records for its “Zero-Casualty Goal” is now a thing of the past.
As it has excelled in disaster risk reduction and management and humanitarian assistance in the year that was, under the present provincial administration of this province the yawning gap in its disaster management is glaring as the disaster risk mitigation planning is not regarded as an opportunity to serve the Albayanos in times of disaster and calamity.
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