by Joey Dado

LGUs should focus on disaster prevention and preparedness to effectively respond during disasters and calamities.
This was the highlight of the keynote message of USEC Eduardo del Rosario, Administrator of the Office of Civil Defense and Executive Director of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council during the Regional DRRM Summit for LCEs and DRRM officers.  Held on July 30-31, 2013 at the Crown Legacy Hotel in Baguio City, the Summit was attended by 250 delegates led by the mayors and DRRM officers of the various municipalities across the region.
In his message, USEC del Rosario also urged the LGUs to complete their Local DRRM Plans as these will guide them in the implementation of DRRM projects. 
Also gracing the event was Baguio City Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan who shared experiences of calamities that befell the city and the lessons learned on preparedness to mitigate damages and loss of life.  Governor Nestor Fongwan of Benguet likewise  shared his experiences in emergency response in times of disasters in the municipality of La Trinidad and Benguet Province.  
During the Summit, Governor Denis Habawel of Ifugao and the provincial delegates signed MOAs for road improvement projects in Tinoc and Asipulo under the PAMANA Program of the DILG.  Projects to ensure clean and safe water supply were also awarded to Licuan-Baay, Abra; Kibungan, Benguet; and  Pinukpok, Kalinga under the SALINTUBIG Program.
The occasion also saw the symbolic turn-over of the Cordillera Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Plan (CRDRRMP) 2013-2016 to the OCD Administrator by OCD-CAR Director Alex Uy with the chairpersons/representatives of the Regional Council Committees on Prevention (DOST), Preparedness (DILG), Response (DSWD) and Rehabilitation (NEDA).
Gawad KALASAG awards were also given to the Baguio City Emergency Medical Services (BCEMS), Baguio Benguet Public Information and Civic Action Group (BBPICAG) and the LGU of Mankayan, Benguet for outstanding performance in implementing DRRM programs.