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Davao City DRRMO responders ordered to forcibly evacuate stubborn residents during disasters

DAVAO CITY (PIA) -- The chief of the Davao City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO) said they will enforce the pre-emptive and forced evacuation ordinance against residents who stubbornly refuse to follow orders to leave their homes for safer grounds.

Napirmahan nato, approve nato sa City Council (It was signed; it is already approved by the City Council),” said Retired Police Col. Alfredo Baloran, head of Davao City DRRMO.

Baloran said he had instructed responders on Jan. 18 to enforce the ordinance as there were reports of hard-headed residents who disobeyed orders to evacuate.

“Actually kagabiii (Jan. 18), instruction sa police akong giingnan mga police ug responders if naay mga gahi dinha, kanang mag magahi kaayo ako ingnan na ang police na ipakuha sa ilaha (Last night (Jan. 18), I directed the police and responders to pick up anyone who refuses to comply with instructions.),” Baloran said.

The City Ordinance 0246-23 series of 2023, authored by City Councilor Luna Maria Dominique Acosta in 2022, was approved on third and final reading in July 2023. It was signed into law by Mayor Sebastian Z. Duterte on August 29. 2023 and took effect on October 5, 2023 .

The ordinances impose a penalty of P1,000 for the first offense; P3,000 for the second offense; and P5,000 for the third offense on those residents refusing to follow the pre-emptive evacuation system, and a violation of the ordinance is considered a criminal record that will appear in their clearances.

Baloran said the lone casualty of the Tigatto landslide, which occurred on Jan. 18, was among the three individuals who disobeyed orders to evacuate the area because of a potential landslide.

“Residents were advised to evacuate in advance, starting with early warnings at the onset of the rains, as we consistently urged BDRRMCs and local officials to inform people in landslide-prone areas to evacuate,” Baloran said.

Responders during the flooding in Davao City (photo from Davao City Information Office)

Another casualty was a seven-year-old child who was entombed in a landslide in Sitio Masawang, Barangay Marilog Proper.

Heavy rains brought by the Shear Line Weather System brought flooding to riverside communities along Davao City’s six major river systems.

Based on initial consolidated response data, the CDRRMO rescued 1,327 families, or 4,987 individuals. No flood-related casualties were reported.

"Kaluy-an sa Ginoo wala tay casualty maybe because proactive napaghatag ug advance information sa atong kaigsoonan bahin sa baha sa mga dagkong sapa sa Davao City (Thank God there were no casualties maybe because we were proactive in giving advance information to residents about potential flooding in the major rivers ofDavao City),” Baloran said. (RGA/PIA Davao)

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Rudolph Ian Alama

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Region 11

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