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“Disaster preparedness is our responsibility as citizens” – DSWD Sec. Taguiwalo

QUEZON CITY, AUG. 1 – Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Judy M. Taguiwalo said that the department and the rest of Pres. Rodrigo Duterte’s administration puts strong emphasis on disaster preparedness and the need to empower Filipinos when it comes to developing resilience.
This was one of the core messages in her speech during the closing ceremonies of the National Disaster Consciousness Month, led by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), last July 29, 2016 at the AFP Commissioned Officers Club in Camp Aguinaldo. “We have seen both potential and momentum in the involvement of Filipinos when it comes to DRRM. We should continue to encourage our people to develop and implement creative, ingenious, and efficient ways to prepare against disasters,” said Sec. Taguiwalo.
“We should make it a rallying call all across the nation to accept the truth that disaster preparedness is also our responsibility as citizens. The survival of our families and communities relies on us even as we rightfully call on government agencies such as the DSWD to help us meet the challenges of DRMM. We call on the Filipino people to become more involved in local DRRM activities, as well as heed the timely and appropriate warnings of the government and its agencies regarding approaching calamities,” she added.
As for the DSWD, Sec. Taguiwalo said that the department continues to maintain supplies in warehouses managed and run by its Field Offices (FOs) all over the country. She shared that the food packs prepared for citizens affected by calamities will now include food that does not require cooking. “We have included high-energy bars that resemble candies but are actually packed with nutrition. Water will also part of the supplies that we will make sure to provide survivors. This is one of the orders given by Pres. Duterte during our first two cabinet meetings when DRRM concerns were discussed,” said Sec. Taguiwalo.
In a related report, the DSWD and concerned government agencies are constantly monitoring all possible effects of tropical depression (TD) ‘Carina.’ As of 4:00 AM update, PAGASA declared Tropical Cyclone Warning Signal #1 in Catanduanes, Camarines Sur, Albay, Sorsogon, Northern Samar, Eastern Samar and Samar. In addition, PAGASA predicts that 17 provinces in five regions will possibly receive an accumulated rainfall of 150mm from July 30 to August 1 which may trigger flooding and landslide. The DSWD and its FOs are continuously replenishing prepositioned family food packs to LGUs and conducting warehouse assessments in preparation of the possible impacts of tropical depression ‘Carina.’

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.