Taguig gears up vs. typhoons, floods
The city government of Taguig on Wednesday announced it has reinforced its efforts at disaster preparedness with the onslaught of the rainy season, as it encouraged residents to prepare for the possibility of floods and typhoons.
“The local government of Taguig has formulated contingency plans in case typhoons and floods affect the city, but it will not be as effective as having the cooperation of our citizens. I call on Taguigenos to prepare and work with local disaster officials in order to avert any untoward incidents,” Mayor Lani Cayetano said.
She said the Taguig City Rescue, the lead agency of the local Disaster and Risk Reduction Management Office (DRRMO), is working overtime to mobilize and consolidate the city’s resources in preparation for the coming rainy days.
“We have already identified the critical areas and barangays within the city that needs to be focused on during the rainy season, and we plan to augment our resources in order to respond to emergencies in case they are affected,” Mayor Lani said.
She added that the local government of Taguig is continuously enhancing its capabilities and competence to secure its constituents during calamities and disasters, and that this has been recognized by no less than the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) when it awarded Seal of Disaster Preparedness to the city last year.
As part of these efforts, Taguig City Rescue chief Ronald Galicia said they have identified nine barangays out of the city’s 28 villages which can be considered as “critical areas” that are susceptible to floods.
They are Barangays Bagumbayan, Lower Bicutan, New Lower Bicutan, Hagonoy, San Miguel, Wawa, Bambang, Napindan and Ibayong Tipas.
“These barangays are near bodies of water like the Laguna Lake, Sta. Ana River and Napindan River, and therefore in danger of being flooded if the amount of rainfall is higher than usual,” he said.
Galicia joined Mayor Lani in encouraging the citizens of Taguig to prepare for the rainy season and cooperate with local rescue officials in the event that floods do occur, especially in the critical areas.
He recalled that the evacuation efforts of the local government during the rampage of the southwest monsoon, or “Habagat,” in August of 2012 were very effective because of the cooperation of those affected.
“We were able to safely evacuate more than 3,000 Taguig residents living near or along Laguna Lake. It was laudable that most of them voluntarily evacuated their homes,” he said.
“And because of the cooperation extended by Taguigenos, there were no reported casualties in our city.”
Looking forward, Galicia said that his office has already made an inventory of its search and rescue equipment, which are now being readied in time for the onslaught of the rainy season.
In fact, he said, the Taguig City Police conducted an inspection of these pieces of equipment at the Cayetano Boulevard on Wednesday morning.
“We have rubber boats, amphibious vehicles, wooden boats and military trucks for our search and rescue efforts, as well as life rings and life vests for those who may need it,” he added.
Galicia said that in the event that floods do occur in Taguig, they can tap the personnel of the city’s General Services Office, Public Order and Security Office, Traffic Management Office, Barangay Affairs Office, Social Welfare and Development Office, and Engineering Office to help out in search and rescue efforts.
“We are now conducting information and education drives in the barangay level to inform citizens of what they can and should do in the event of disasters, especially floods and typhoons,” he said.
The efforts of the local government of Taguig City in preparing for calamities and disaster have been recognized by no less than the Department of Interior and Local Government – National Capital Region (DILG-NCR).
In December 2012, Taguig City was awarded by the DILG-NCR the Seal of Disaster Preparedness in acknowledgment of the local government unit’s enhanced efforts toward disaster preparedness and capabilities.
Gemma D. Dancil, Director of Taguig-DILG, said that Taguig was given the honor during the very first verification undertaken by DILG-NCR.
“The DILG-NCR made a disaster preparedness audit of Taguig City and found it sufficient on the very first verification,” she said.