Laguna gov earmarks P32-M for disaster preparedness

Almost a year after the province was hit by typhoons Ondoy and Santi, the newly-elected governor of Laguna has set aside P32 million for the purchase of equipment in preparation for any natural disasters that might hit the province.

Governor Jorge ER Ejercito-Estregan said the fund will be used to rubber boats, fiberglass boats and amphibians for rescue; jet skis for reconnaissance and retrieval; and equipment for mountain and water search rescue operations including proper communication devices for rescuers.

The local government is also forming rescue teams such as first aid and basic life support teams from government and civil society groups. Team members will undergo training while the government establishes
24/7 operations and command centers that will coordinate all the activities.

Estregan urged the leaders of different municipalities to learn their lesson from the floods left behind by typhoon Ondoy and Santi.

“During that time, I felt a sense of helplessness and despair because I knew we were not prepared for what hit us. Now that I’m at the helm of the province’s leadership, I would like us to be better prepared and build communities that are resilient from the wrath of natural and man-made disasters,” he said.

The governor also urged the municipal local government units to discontinue the practice of using public schools and government facilities as evacuation centers and save government’s resources that are being used to repair and rehabilitate these buildings and facilities.

He said LGUs must identify potential evacuation sites and buy tents for the people’s shelter in these sites.