ARMM disaster responders capable, well-prepared, officials tell NDRRMC chair

Disaster officials in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) are prepared and capable of responding to man-made and natural disasters.

This was the assurance Monday of regional disaster and civil defense officials given to visiting National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) Undersecretary Ricardo Jalad.

Jalad paid a visit to Office of Civil Defense (OCD-ARMM) and met with military and police officials over the weekend in his efforts to get updates on disaster preparedness of regional disaster units.

Jalad, who hails from Midsayap, North Cotabato, met with 6th Infantry Division commander Maj. Gen. Carlito Galvez, ARMM Gov. Mujiv Hataman and OCD-ARMM regional director Myrna Angot.

"We have established communication and coordination with OCD-ARMM and ARMM in general. We have a very good relationship with agencies concerned in DRRM," Galvez told Jalad.

In a meeting, Jalad received updates on both human-induced and natural disasters in the region's five component provinces of Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.

Hataman said because of preparedness, disaster officials have cushioned the impact of the recurring flood problem in the region's low-lying areas. "Flooding in some areas of the region is manageable since there are weather forecasts," said Hataman.

Angot has expressed optimism on the resilience of the ARMM populace. "This is due to our countless capacity building and advocacy endeavours on the DRRM. We have zero-casualties in flooding incidents in ARMM for the Calendar Year 2016," Angot said.

Jalad together with Angot also met with the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao - Humanitarian Emergency Action Response Team (ARMM-HEART) headed by Regional DRRM Officer Ramil Masukat with the presence of DRRM focal persons from various agencies.

"We are pleased with the presence of our Civil Defense Administrator. It only proves that the ARMM is being prioritized by the national leadership when it comes to DRRM. ARMM HEART is here and always ready 24/7 to respond come any disaster," Masukat later told reporters.

OCD-ARMM has its hands full this year with more capacity training and seminar to continue capacitating disaster responders, especially at the grassroots level.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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