City of Manila’s disaster resilience a ‘total failure’ – Mayor discovers
Marje Pelayo • July 3, 2019 • 2483
MANILA, Philippines – Newly-elected mayor Francisco Domagoso admits they are not ready in case a strong earthquake or the so called ‘Big One’ strikes the city.
“The City of Manila is not ready. On record. Sila ang may sabi noon, (That’s what they said),” Domagoso said referring to the local disaster risk reduction management officials following a meeting with them on his second day in office on Tuesday (July 2).
Mayor ‘Isko’ ordered the City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (CDRRMO) to draft a concrete disaster management plan or a detailed hazard map to prepare the city for potential dangers.
During the meeting, Domagoso discovered a lot of problems in terms of the city’s disaster preparedness and response.
The city lacks plans and programs for risk reduction management.
There are no measures in place to solve the decade long flood problems.
The city’s disaster response command center lacks equipment, the office looks shabby and neglected.
The CCTV cameras only cover areas within the city hall and Carriedo area.
Emergency personnel admitted they have no established emergency hotline and they usually use their personal numbers to contact the public in times of need.
The CDRRMO also lacks personnel and the city falls short in resources when it comes to health care.
According to the overall assessment report of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), the city is considered a ‘total failure’ when it comes to disaster preparedness and response.
The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) noted the importance of prioritizing disaster resiliency in all of Manila especially its buildings and structures as it is a city prone to hazards.
“The biggest stumbling block would be the resilience of the structures. Iyon ang pinakaunang kailangang gawin. Ayusin ang mga pwedeng bumagsak na mga bahay (That’s the very first thing that needs to be addressed – fix the houses that are damage prone),” explained DOST Undersecretary and PHIVOLCS administrator Renato Solidum.
“Marami silang (There’s a lot of) hazards that need to be integrated in their preparedness,” he noted.
Mayor Domagoso warned to dismiss all concerned DRRMO officials if they will not act on the matter at the soonest possible time.
“I will fire you if you don’t admit that we are not ready,” Mayor Domagoso told them.
“You have to be honest with yourself. You can even challenge me at the Civil Service (Commission) if I fire you,” he concluded. – with reports from April Cenedoza
Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso launched on Wednesday (August 14) a facility that will allow Manileños and even visitors to enjoy free wifi connection.
A wifi-kiosk has been installed at the Liwasang Bonifacio where one can enjoy 30 minutes of free internet.
“So you can make an internet connection. Connectivity for free because of the WiFi capabilities of the machine. And you can make landline calls for free,” Mayor Isko said.
The official added that the project aims to help Manileños have free communication with their relatives and loved ones, especially in times of emergencies.
The said 24/7 facility can connect up to 100 devices at one time.
And to give way to others who want to connect, an individual will be given 30 minutes to stay online.
Moreno said this concept was adopted from what is already being practiced in Manhattan, New York called the NYC Link. The project is a collaboration of the city’s local government unit and the private sector.
Moreno plans to mount several more Iskonek in other areas of Manila. (with details from Asher Cadapan, Jr.) /mbmf
Help from other countries continues to pour in for Manila’s development as ambassadors come and pay courtesy to Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso.
On Wednesday (August 13), European Ambassador Franz Jessen made a courtesy call to Moreno and expressed his country’s support to the mayor’s plans for the city’s development.
This is the first time that a European ambassador has paid the city of Manila a visit.
Jessen also invited Moreno to go to Europe for him to see the “best practices” that he may also implement in Manila.
“I hope that the Mayor would bring that back to Manila and make it the best city to live in,” the envoy said.
Jessen said the European Union has been helping with the rehabilitation of the Pasig River and that it is imperative that the assistance continues.
Moreno, in turn, said: “We’re looking forward to any exchange of culture, any types of help with the European countries and you’re always welcome to the City of Manila.”
After the European envoy’s visit, Mayor Isko received to his office New Zealand Ambassador David Strachan.
Strachan is the 10th ambassador to pay a courtesy call on Moreno since July 1.
The New Zealand envoy told Moreno of his plans to give assistance to the city’s disaster management.
The New Zealand government will shoulder the expenses for the short-term course that it will give to the Manila Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office.
“We have a lot in common in terms of achieving one of the goals that President Duterte talked about on the ease of doing business,” Strachan said.
“Ang swerte namin talagang bawat bansa na nagpupunta rito [We are so fortunate that each country that visited here as] represented by their ambassadors are really offering assistance to the City of Manila. Tapos nagkakataon pa ano pa siya iba-ibang problema ang inaayos [And it turns out that each help seeks to deal with different problems (of the city)],” Moreno said.
Aside from Europe and New Zealand, the countries that have sent their ambassadors to pay courtesy on Mayor Moreno are the United States of America, Japan, Panama, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Singapore, and Russia. (from the report of April Cenedoza) /mbmf
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