DILG releases revised manual on disaster preps for LGUs

MANILA The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has presented the revised manual for local government units, or the Operation LISTO Manual, which contains preparedness action plans in dealing with the impact of weather disturbances on the country.

"The LISTO manual version 3 contains not only the checklist of mayors, DILG field officers, chiefs of police, fire marshals but also provides authority to local chief executives to undertake preemptive or mandatory evacuation when necessary and other measures on preparedness and response that LGUs (local government units) must undertake depending on the alert levels, " DILG spokesperson and Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya told reporters during the Media Forum on LGU Protocols and Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) in Pasig City on Wednesday.

The DILG, through its Local Government Academy, has developed Operation LISTO, a national advocacy program for disaster preparedness and disaster risk management at the local level, which advocates disaster readiness not just of the LGUs, but also of the communities and families at the household levels.

The DILG has given all LGUs the LISTO Manual to guide them on the sets of minimum critical 'things-to-do' during an impending weather disturbance or tropical cyclone. So walang dahilan para hindi nila malaman kung ano ang kanilang dapat gawin (So that there would be no reason for them not to know what to do), Malaya said.

Through the program, mayors have new guidelines to help them in times of calamities, particularly storms.

"Ito pong LISTO manual, dinistribute na po natin ito sa mga mayors. Actually, binigay namin sa kanila lahat (We have distributed the LISTO manual to mayors. Actually, we gave everything to them). The critical things to do are already in the manual," Malaya said.

The revised manual includes a forecast that is geographic or path-based, with a signal and critical preparedness action advisory.

He advised LGUs to do their early preparedness actions and not to wait for the 11th hour before taking action to safeguard their communities and people from typhoon and other hazards.

Malaya explained that under Republic Act 10121 or the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010, the role of LGUs in DRRM can be summed up into reducing risks; reducing vulnerabilities; and response and recovery in times of disasters.

We know that we must build the capacities, readiness and resiliency of LGUs and the communities but building resilience is not just a matter of teaching the technical staff or acquiring technical know-how. That is why the support and the political will of the governors and mayors and the local legislative bodies are very important, he said.

The DILG has earlier directed local chief executives, who are also the chairpersons of their respective local disaster risk reduction and management councils, to be physically present in their LGU stations to prepare for an impending typhoon or face administrative cases.

It has also issued a memorandum amending the guidelines on the local and foreign travel of local officials, which includes the recall of travel authority issued to them by the DILG Secretary, in case of an emergency, and/or natural or human-induced disaster.

We always remind local officials of their physical presence in the areas to lead the preparations during the arrival of a powerful typhoon," Malaya said.

The Philippines has been identified as among the global disaster hotspots and ranks third in the World Risk Index 2018. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency