LGUs told to ensure fast distribution of relief goods

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has directed local government units to ensure that food packs are distributed to the people not later then two (2) days from the onset of a calamity or disaster in their respective areas of responsibilities.

In a memorandum circular, DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said that pursuant to the Local Government Code of 1991, the LGUs are mandated to adopt measures and protect their inhabitants from the harmful effects of man-made or natural disasters and calamities through providing relief services and assistance.

Aside from ensuring LGU compliance to the international and national mandates concerning disaster risl reduction and management, the fast distribution of relief goods, the DILG stated, will safeguard the welfare of the people.

“The City or Municipal Governments shall provide food packs to all their component barangays to be distributed to their constituents,” it reminded.

In the event barangays are not provide such food packs from the local government, they may coordinate with the concerned offices of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), which shall coordinate with the DILG concerning the LGUs which failed to provide food packs to their constituents.

It likewise directed local chief executives to strictly adhere to the protocols as outlined in the Compendium of Disaster Preparedness and Response Protocols.

Prior to a calamity, LCEs are supposed to reactivate and render functional the DRRM Council, conduct public awareness of existing hazards in their localities, identify population-at-risk in vulnerable areas such as low-lying and flood-prone areas as well as poorly constructed houses or facilities, and formulate a preparedness contingency plan.

During a calamity, the mayors or barangay captains are mandated to activate the disaster auxiliary command center and mobilize the LDRRM Council, activate the flood early warning and evacuation alert system, deploy the emergency response and rescue teams, activate evacuation centers, enforce pre-emptive or forced evacuation of people at risk, and effectively utilize the DRRM Fund.

After Calamity Protocols include checking whether affected areas are safe for evacuees to return, providing relief assistance including medical and psycho-social counselling services to families or individuals in need, cause the collection of garbage and the total clean-up and clearing of waterways within 24 hours after the calamity, and conduct damage assessment on local government-owned facilities and agriculture.

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