Secretary Mel Senen S. Sarmiento of the Department of the Interior and Local Government is calling on all local government units to carry out disaster preparedness measures under “Operation Listo.”
According to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), the current El Nino phenomenon is already in its decaying stage and there is a possible rise of La Nina during the second half of 2016.
PAGASA particularly warned the provinces of Isabela, Quezon, Samar, Leyte, Surigao, Agusan and Bicol of the developing La Nina.
In a directive, Sarmiento urged all provincial governors, city and municipal mayors, and DILG regional directors to take precautionary measures in their respective areas of responsibility.
“LGUs are encouraged to convene their respective Local Disaster Risk Reduction Management Councils to prepare a La Nina Action Plan; closely coordinate with PAGASA for timely weather updates and with the DENR-Mines and Geosciences Bureau for adequate information on the threat of flooding and rainfall-induced landslides within the respective LGU,” said Sarmiento.
He also directed LGUs to regularly submit a status report to the DILG, through its Field and Regional Offices, on all La Nina related incidents, including planning, preparations and general assessments.
Operation Listo is an advocacy program of the DILG which aims to strengthen disaster preparedness of LGUs using the whole-of-government approach. Its first component called Listong Pamahalaang Lokal was launched in 2014 which institutionalized local protocols for disaster preparedness, response and monitoring.
“The goal is always zero casualty. The effectiveness of implementing Operation Listo is evident when we had no casualty in places affected by BagyongChedeng in Regions 2 and 3 including Pampanga last year,” Sarmiento points out.