DAVAO ORIENTAL, February 29, 2016— Making disaster preparedness and response achief priority, the Provincial Government of Davao Oriental has inaugurated on Monday, Feb. 22, 2016, anew Emergency Operation Center at the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) Compound in Dahican, City of Mati.
A collaboration project between the United Nations’ World Food Program, USAID, and the Provincial Government, this new facility will serve as a command center for proper coordination and efficient response in times of disaster situations.
This facility, which will serve as a central coordinating body for various stakeholders on disaster response and preparedness, said the PRRMO, is very crucial in sharing information, communication and monitoring.
Aside from serving its role during disaster, the operation center will also serve as the housing of rescue equipment, venue for disaster response trainings, and convergence area of Emergency Response Teams and Action Officers.
According to the PDRRMO, the establishment of the operation center is part of the WFP’s drive to intensify Disaster Preparedness and Response Capacity through DRRM Planning and logistics support.
WFP Deputy Country Director Martin Bettley vowed the WFP’s unwavering support to the province, especially now that the organization is focusing more on emergency and preparedness. “We all know that the more we spend on preparedness and mitigation measures we are going have to spend a lot less time in the response and I think that is now globally what WFP is looking at,” he said.
He also lauded the concerted efforts of all stakeholders in preparing the communities for disasters. “We are honored and proud to be your partners,” he told the Provincial Government Department Heads and representatives of different organizations here in the province, highlighting WFP’s partnership with Davao Oriental during the Typhoon Pablo response in 2012. “The WFP is very small compared to the contribution of the people here that made this possible,” he added.
Meanwhile, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Provincial Director Yvette T. Sunga highlighted the relevance of the operation center in light with the present climate change phenomenon. “Disaster comes in many forms. Climate change is here to stay and it is the mandate of the DILG to ensure the preparedness of each LGU in the province,” she said, noting the upcoming Seal of Good Local Governance (SGLG) assessment, wherein one of the indicators of the province’s preparedness for disasters is a functional, effective, and efficient Emergency Operation Center.
She lauded the Provincial Government under the leadership of Governor Corazon N. Malanyaon for seriously addressing the preparedness and resiliency aspect of governance.
“Through the convergent efforts of all stakeholders we can sustain and exceed with whatever performance we are currently showing right now through the different support mechanisms that the different partner agencies are showing.”
Governor Malanyaon, who was represented by Provincial Planning and Development Coordinator (PPDC) Freddie C. Bendulo during the inaugural cermenony, conveyed her gratitude to the WFP, USAID, as well as other stakeholders in helping Davao Oriental become a resilient and well-prepared province.
“We consider this project so much reason to be upbeat about the future with the unremitting positive developments in our province, to the dynamic beauty of complementation of our efforts – our very own take in the convergence approach in the commitment of stakeholders, such as your organization, is helping us gain a more secure footing towards the socio-economic development of the Province, as a whole,” she said in the message.(DavOr PIO)