Save 20% off! Join our newsletter and get 20% off right away!

DILG initiates “Operation Listo” vs La Niña

LEGAZPI CITY, Philippines – In preparation for the impacts of La Niña in the coming months, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) has launched ‘Operation Listo’, a call-for-action plan to all local government units (LGU) to carry out disaster preparedness measures.
Operation Listo is an advocacy program of DILG which aims to strengthen disaster preparedness using the whole-of-government approach. Its first component called ‘Listong Pamahalaang Lokal’ was launched in 2014, institutionalizing local protocols for disaster readiness, response and monitoring.
The directive initiating Operation Listo was issued by DILG Secretary Mel Senen Sarmiento last June 15, urging all city and municipality mayors, provincial governors and DILG regional directors to take precautionary measures against La Niña in their respective jurisdictions.
This directive released by DILG is in response to the La Niña warning release by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), which predicts increased storm visits during the second half of 2016.
As warned by PAGASA, the La Niña readiness efforts would focus more on areas that are most vulnerable to storms like the Bicol region, provinces of Isabela, Quezon, Samar, Leyte, Surigao, and Agusan.
For the preliminary step, Sarmiento reminds LGUs to implement early preparedness actions in the Operation Listo manual for hydro-meteorological hazards. These are the ‘Early and Critical Preparations Checklists’ for Mayors and the checklist for Municipal Local Government Operations Officers, Chiefs of Police, and Fire Marshalls.
These manuals lay down disaster preparedness minimum standards before, during and after a disaster. “As the manuals say, these are done during ‘peace time’ or when no immediate threat of disaster. Operation Listo reminds everyone that we must be pre-emptive instead of reactive,” said Sarmiento.
Before PAGASA raises a disaster alert, there are four General Actions would have been initiated by the LGU; namely the creation of Disaster Risk Reduction Management structures and systems to be mobilized, institutionalized policies and plans, have trained and competent units on the ready, and have contingency and rescue hardware on stand-by.
As of last month, President Benigno Aquino III led the launching of the two new components of Operation Listo: the ‘Listong Pamayanan’ and ‘Listong Pamilyang Pilipino’.
The Listong Pamayanan component focuses on capacity development interventions, cascaded from the LGU to their respective community. The Listong Pamilyang Pilipino component, on the other hand, focuses on the family and household level preparedness.
On her radio interview with PIA-RO5, DILG-5’s RDRRM regional action officer Jo Arndt said that Operation Listo is just one of many initiatives of DILG in celebration of the National Disaster Month. Other activities being conducted by DILG also included ‘Operation Yakal’ and the National Simultaneous Earthquake Drill for earthquake preparedness.

Criselda Cabangon David, a happy mother of two kids, is a full-time Sociologist at the City Government of Lucena, Quezon Province. She is currently the Managing Editor of Ang Diaryo Natin Sunday News, a weekly local community newspaper in the Philippines and an active member of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines.