The Department of the Interior and Local Government yesterday lauded the provincial, city and municipal disaster risk reduction management councils (DRRMCs), particularly those from the hardest typhoon struck areas in Central and Northern Luzon, for demonstrating their disaster preparedness in the onslaught of Typhoons Pedring and Quiel.
DILG Secretary Jesse M. Robredo said he is in constant touch with governors and mayors from Bulacan and Pampanga, the several towns of which are now faced with rising floodwaters, who are actively and personally addressing flood-related problems in their areas.
“Despite their meager resources and manpower, the local officials and their DRMMCs in Central and Northern Luzon, particularly those from the flood stricken towns of Bulacan and Pampanga should be lauded for their disaster preparedness,” he said.
Robredo visited Bulacan Thursday and Friday to meet with Gov. Willy Alvarado, the mayors of the flood stricken towns of Calumpit, Hagonoy, Paombong and Pulilan and officials of their respective DRRMCs to discuss the national government’s responses such as relief and rescue operations in flood-stricken areas in the province.
“I met Gov. Alvarado and the Bulacan local DRRMC officials last Thursday afternoon before the floodwaters rose in Calumpit, Hagonoy and Paombong. They have advised all concerned barangay officials to tell their constituents to evacuate or seek higher grounds. The sad part is that many people did not heed the call until floodwaters rose and they became isolated,” the DILG chief said.
“The problem now is when the waters reached the roofs of their homes, they became frantic and are now crying for rescue and relief operations from the government. I hope that with the entry of Typhoon Quiel, and possibly Ramon, people from low-lying areas should heed the call of their local officials for their own safety,” he added.
The DILG has directed all Bureau of Fire Protection and Philippine National Police officers and men in Bulacan to pool their men and resources to bring relief goods or rescue stranded flood victims, together with other concerned agencies such as the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Philippine Coast Guard, Department of Social Welfare and Development and the Philippine National Red Cross.
Meantime, Robredo also directed the PNP provincial director of Bulacan, Senior Superintendent Ferdinand Mendez, to go after looters, profiteers and hoarders who are taking advantage of the tragedy caused by the flooding.
The DILG chief issued the directive in the wake of reports of lootings, hoardings and profiteering by some individuals, particularly the very much overpriced selling of mineral water, rice and other basic necessities in the flood-stricken areas. DILG