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Disaster team cites role of mass media
« on: January 18, 2017, 11:38:21 AM »
Disaster team cites role of mass media
Published: November 19, 2006 by The Bohol Standard

IF timely information is crucial in disaster preparedness, then the Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council (PDCC) is hitting the bull’s eye when it activated its response to the need: the communication and warning team to issue timely alerts in times of disasters.

Retired Colonel Jacinto Piquero, PDCC action officer said information that failed to reach the constituents proved to be the culprit on the near fatal incidents of fishers caught in the eye of the storm Neneng, which wrecked havoc among Bohol towns lately.

Piquero, when reporting to the Boholanos of the status of Bohol disaster preparedness plan confessed that the council is still updating the local disaster plan to respond to the dire need for information cascading in dire times.

He cited near fatal incidents of fishermen from Getafe and Jagna who were literally fished out of the water at the height of the weather disturbance because of the failure in disaster communication.

Speaking with Office of the Civil Defense Provincial Coordinator Engr. Verneil Balaba and Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Service Administration (PAG-ASA) chief meteorologist Emmanuel Oronan at the weekly Kapihan sa PIA, anti disaster preparedness team agree that disaster can be mitigated by timely information.

The PDCC has recently convened the communication and warning team so as to network on passing the accurate and timely information in the event of disasters, Piquero said.

The team, composed of the Philippine Information Agency, Bohol Law Enforcement Communications System as its main communication arm, Bohol Provincial Police Office, OCD, PAG-ASA, National Telecommunications Commission, RCPI-Bayantel, telecommunications companies and radio stations would be activated as soon as the PDCC gets the information from the National Disaster Coordinating Council of an impending disaster.

Even then, Engr. Balaba said the local OCD is into intensified information and communication campaign on natural disasters. He pressed on the ongoing OCD spearheaded campaigns on “Safe ka ba” which condensed tips on the must dos in the event of disaster.

This, the local OCD head said is what they and the deputized civil defense personnel in the towns have been cascading to city and town disaster coordinating councils to equip people of the knowledge on coping with disaster and its early warning and communication components.

With the onset of massive digital communications window opened by the cellular networks, the police have set up a disaster hotline, Balaba continued.

The number, 0915 318 1146 connects directly to an active personnel at the Bohol Provincial Police Office where an operational team can be deployed to respond to “maydays” in short notice.

All of these to help Boholanos feel safe, eliminate disaster caused accidents, protect property and if not stopped, at least, mitigate its effects. (rachiu/PIA)

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