The Summit started on a high note!

     A 99.75% over-all rating in the Gawad Kalasag regional finals and a back-to-back win in the prestigious competition provided the provincial government of Isabela with just the right push as it embarked on its first ever Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Summit held June 24 – 25, 2014.

     Some four hundred local chief executives, DRRM experts, policy makers, scientists, AFP, PNP and BFP officials and personnel, rescuers and representatives of the private sector converged at the Governor Faustino N. Dy Session Hall of the Isabela Provincial Capitol for the two-day summit initiated by the Office of Civil Defense Region 2 in partnership with the PDRRMC and DILG – Isabela.

     The Summit was aimed at strengthening linkages and harnessing inter-agency cooperation among partners and stakeholders in order to build safer and more resilient communities in the province of Isabela.

     In his message before the delegates, Isabela Governor and PDRRMC Chair Faustino Dy III underscored the primordial duty of government to uphold the people’s constitutional right to life and property. “Isinasagawa po natin ang Summit na ito dahil naniniwala po tayo sa kahalagahan ng buhay ng bawat isa sa ating nasasakupan. Hindi natin maatim na mawala o ipagsapalaran ang kahit isang buhay,”he stressed.

 

     Dy recalled the devastation wrought by super typhoon Juan in the coastal area in October 2010, or onlythree months into his first term as governor. “Ang bayan ng Maconacon ay tinamaan ng storm surge. Ang sabi ng kanilang dating mayor, umatras ng hanggang 50 metro ang tubig-dagat at pagkatapos nito’y isang napakalaking alon ang humampas sa bayan ng Maconacon,”he said.

     Isabela scales greater heights in disaster preparedness hosts first PROVINCIAL DRRM SUMMIT The governor expressed gratitude that the onslaught, the strength of which is comparable to Yolanda, resulted in only one casualty, attributing the same to the people’s preparedness amid disasters.

     He admitted that the Juan experiencesowed fear in the hearts of local leaders, the same fear that inspired the provincial government to push for the immediate construction of four typhoon-proof evacuation centers for the four coastal municipalities that requires a total cost of 80 million pesos. This is in addition to the 27 million peso multi-purpose evacuation center now undergoing construction at the Isabela Provincial Capitol compound. Dy also cited the gains of the province in the realm of disaster preparedness and thanked the PDRRMC members, the local chief executives, the leadership of the OCD and DILG, civil society and all the participants for the success of the Summit.

     Not one who rests on his laurels, Dy constantly raises the bar in disaster preparedness in the grassroots, amid the imminent threat of climate change. OCD Regional Director Norma C. Talosig lauded the local chief executive for consistently aiming for excellence in local governance. “The provincial government of Isabela does not settle for anything less. Puro excellent po ang gusto. Kaya nga po sila binigyan ng 99.75 sa Gawad Kalasag regional evaluation,” she declared.

     Meanwhile, DILG Provincial Director Elpidio Durwin reminded the local chief executives of the province to carry out emergency measures before, during and in the aftermath of any disaster to hasten up recovery and promote the general welfare.

     DRRM experts from the OCD and DOST comprised the pool of speakers while the summit’s highlight was the signing of the DECLARATION OF COMMITMENT FOR DRRM ACTION by the participants led by Dy and Vice Governor Tonypet Albano.