WITH the onslaught of tropical storm ‘Egay,’ Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Benhur Abalos reminded local chief executives anew to be present and stay in their posts before, during and after a typhoon hits to implement the Operation L!STO Protocols within their area of jurisdiction.
“It has been proven that the Operation L!STO Protocols saves lives. We continue to remind our LCEs to stay in their posts in time of typhoons at pangunahan ang pagpapatupad nito sa kanilang mga nasasakupan.
It needs LCEs to ensure that its guidelines will be implemented well,” Abalos said.
According to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), Egay maintains its strength as it accelerates west-north-westward over the Philippine Sea and is forecast to intensify into a severe tropical storm and may reach peak at super typhoon category on Tuesday or Wednesday while over the Philippine Sea east of Extreme Northern Luzon.
Abalos said that the LCEs’ presence is critical in the swift implementation of the L!STO protocols, especially at the grassroots level. He said that all steps in the protocols will be set in motion by the LCEs, to be assisted by the Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Officer (LDRRMO).
He said that part of the LCEs’ responsibilities within Operation L!STO Protocols are to get organized by convening the LDRRM Councils within 24 hours upon receiving a severe weather bulletin; reviewing LDRRM/Contingency Plans and Hazard Risk Maps; and organizing Search, Rescue and Retrieval, Security, and Clearing Operations Teams, among others.
The L!STO protocols also prescribe that the LCEs lead in the conduct of the Pre-Disaster Risk Assessment (PDRA) and the preparation of appropriate response plans; assessment of the functionality of evacuation centers; and activation of the Incident Command System, according to Abalos.
“Operation L!STO remains to be the blueprint for LGUs to prepare for disasters. Kaya inaasahan nating pangungunahan nila [LCEs] ang pagsunod sa mga preparedness measures nito,” he added.