Bong Go reiterates need to establish DDR amid Mayon Volcano unrest

June 12, 2023 People's Journal 273 views

SENATOR Christopher “Bong” Go, an advocate for disaster preparedness and resiliency, encouraged residents living within the six-kilometer radius permanent danger zone of Mount Mayon in Albay, Bicol, to remain vigilant, cooperate with authorities and be prepared for any eventualities.

“Sa ngayon po ay under state of calamity na ang Albay pursuant to a resolution of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan. Ibig sabihin, pwede na nilang magamit ang kanilang calamity funds. Ingat pa rin tayo,” Go cited in an ambush interview after his visit to Pili, Camarines Sur on Saturday, June 10.

“Ang apela ko naman po, sa mga kababayan natin sa loob ng six-kilometer-radius permanent danger zone, sumunod tayo sa paalala ng ating mga LGUs, ng ating gobyerno. Ingat kayo. Kapag sinabing lumikas, lumikas po kayo. Importante dito ang ating buhay at kalusugan,” he urged.

According to the latest bulletin from PHIVOLCS issued on Sunday, June 11, Mayon Volcano experienced a single volcanic earthquake and 177 instances of rockfall within the past 24 hours. These rockfall events resulted in the deposition of lava debris in gullies located approximately 700 meters away from the summit crater.

Last June 8, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) elevated the alert level of Mayon Volcano to Level 3, indicating that the volcano is presently showing a heightened inclination towards a dangerous eruption and the possibility of explosive activity occurring within a matter of weeks or possibly even days.

Following this, the provincial government of Albay has placed the province under a state of calamity, pursuant to Resolution No. 0607-2023 of the provincial board.

The senator highlighted the importance of local government units in disaster response efforts, urging them to prioritize the safety and welfare of their constituents.

Recognizing the potential risks posed by the active volcano, he urged LGUs to mobilize their resources and ensure the prompt provision of necessary aid to those affected.

Furthermore, Go appealed to the LGUs to ensure the availability and accessibility of emergency shelters, evacuation routes, and essential supplies in the event of an eruption, saying, “Nakikiusap din po ako sa ating national government, sa ating mga LGUs, na ilikas agad ang mga kababayan natin sa ligtas na lugar kung kailangan, at bigyan ng maayos na evacuation center. Yung malinis at maayos na evacuation center.”

As one of the most active volcanoes in the country, Mount Mayon has a history of volcanic eruptions that have displaced communities and caused significant damage to property and infrastructure. Hence, Go emphasized the importance of maintaining a state of constant preparedness in order to mitigate the potential impact of future eruptions.

The lawmaker continues to push for the creation of the Department of Disaster Resilience, recognizing the urgent need for a dedicated government agency that will focus on mitigating the impact of natural and man-made disasters in the country.

As the country is prone to various calamities such as typhoons, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions, Go stressed that his proposed Senate Bill No. 188 would centralize efforts, streamline coordination, and ensure more swift and effective response to emergencies.

The creation of the said department shall concentrate on three key result areas, namely: disaster risk reduction, disaster preparedness and response, and recovery and building forward better.

“Bilang inyong senador, nag-file din po ako sa Senado, ito pong Department of Disaster Resilience (bill). Kung saan po (isang) cabinet-level (department) po ito na sana bago dumating ang bagyo, bago pumutok ang bulkan, meron isang departamento na nakatutok. Evacuation, preposition of goods, at pag-alis naman ng bagyo, restoration of normalcy agad at rehabilitation efforts. Yan po sana ang Department of Disaster Resilience,” Go highlighted.