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RDRRMC XII approves creation of task force on maritime accidents, others

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (PIA) -- The Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC) XII has approved the creation of a Regional Task Force for Specific but Complex Hazards in Region XII, specifically for maritime accidents and other airport emergencies such as terrorist attacks, during its second quarter full council meeting recently.

The task force is composed of various national government agencies (NGA) and other key stakeholders, according to Office of Civil Defense (OCD) XII Regional Director and RDRRMC XII Chairperson Raylindo Aniñon, citing its importance in this time and age where there is always the chance for such incidents to occur.

He said the task force "shall coordinate and meet as often as necessary to effectively manage and sustain national efforts on disaster risk reduction and management" using the whole-of-government approach.

The meeting was presided over by Aniñon, together with the Council vice chairpersons and representatives, namely DILG XII Regional Director Josephine Cabrido-Leysa for Preparedness, DOST XII Regional Director Sammy Malawan for Prevention and Mitigation, represented by Science and Research Scientist Abdul Jalil Malawan, DSWD XII Regional Director Loreto Cabaya Jr. for Response, and NEDA XII Regional Director Teresita Soccoro Ramos for Rehabilitation and Recovery, represented by Economic Development Specialist Jose Anthony Laurent Octavio.

During the meeting, OCD XII Asst. Regional Director Jerome Barranco presented various DRRM activities conducted by the OCD for the second quarter.

Meanwhile, PAGASA Gensan Station Chief Meteorological Officer Binrio Biñan provided updates on the weather outlook, including El Nino, describing the latter as "most likely" to start in full swing by the first semester of 2024.

The RDRRMC XII's different committees—Preparedness, Prevention and Mitigation, Response, and Rehabilitation and recovery—also reported their respective accomplishments for the second quarter.

The OCD XII also announced the lined-up activities for the observance of the National Disaster Resilience Month (NDRM) in July, which will be kicked off by a "Run for Resilience 2023" to be followed by a press conference on July 1 in Kidapawan City.

In a written note to the Philippine Information Agency Region XII, Director Aniñon noted that the activities for the observance of NDRM will anchor on "building resilience with the involvement of N/RDRRMC member agencies and local DRRM councils and committees."

This year's observance focuses on "BIDAng Pilipino: Building a Stronger Filipino Well-Being Towards Disaster Resilence" as its theme.

OCD XII information officer Jorie Mae Balmediano also said that they will conduct a one-day "Disaster Risk Reduction and Management and Risk Communication Orientation for Media and Information Officers" in Soccsksargen via Zoom as part of the continuing efforts to upscale the knowledge and learning capabilities of these sectors as partners of government during emergencies.

Meanwhile, the Response Cluster, chaired by the Department of Social Welfare and Development XII, will also spearhead a "Walk for Resilience Activity" as its contribution in line with the observance of NDRM.

NDRM's closing ceremony will be on July 31, which will be highlighted with the announcement of winners for the Captu-Resilience Mobile Photography and Reel-Silience contests. 

The RDRRMC XII second quarter meeting, which drew about 26 participants from the various national government agencies and other partners in the region, was held at the Greenleaf Hotel in General Santos City. 

Director Aniñon said he would expect the same response and enthusiasm from the members for the third quarter meeting tentatively scheduled for September 2023. (CTA - PIA SarGen)

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