WHOLE-OF-SOCIETY PREPAREDNESS AND RESPONSE. The Build Back Better Regional Task Force (BBBRTF) met earlier today to discuss the whole-of-society approach in preparing for and responding to typhoons and other natural disasters.
 
Executive Order 120 issued by President Rodrigo Duterte in November 2020 created the task force for post-disaster rehabilitation and recovery efforts in areas affected by typhoons.
 
Regional Executive Director Gwendolyn Bambalan of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources emphasized in her message the importance of having a customized and inclusive preparedness and response plan during typhoons as she recalled that the task force was created following Typhoon Rolly and Typhoon Ulysses which hit Cagayan Valley, National Capital Region and Bicol Region last year.
 
“Through the task force, we bring in other sectors to participate in our disaster preparedness, rehabilitation and recovery efforts,” the regional environment chief and BBBRTF chairperson said highlighting the critical role of the local government units (LGUs), electric companies, water utilities, mining companies and other private sectors.
 
Office of Civil Defense Regional Director Harold Cabreros who chairs the implementation of programs under improved system and essential services presented the structure and response cluster of the Cagayan Valley Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council. He also discussed the emergency response preparedness particularly the strategies on warning dissemination, active monitoring, coordination, and communication.
 
The regional disaster management council chair also presented the Cagayan Valley Rehabilitation and Recovery Plan with a total investment requirement of 138 billion pesos for infrastructure, transportation and flood control, power, housing, education and agriculture, among others.
 
For his part, Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) Regional Director Mario Ancheta presented the geo-hazard maps of the five provinces in the region and the list of barangays with high to very high landslide and flood susceptibility rating.
 
He urged the LGUs to be vigilant and be aware of the geohazards in their jurisdictions. “The MGB geohazard maps are available in the barangay, municipal and provincial LGUs,” he said.
 
During the meeting, the task force agreed to cascade the disaster preparedness and response plan to all the LGUs in the region.#