(Photo courtesy of DILG CODIX)

The Puerto Princesa City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (CDRRMO) is preparing for the worst possible onslaught of Severe Tropical Storm ‘Odette’ (international name ‘Rai’), which is expected to reach Palawan on Friday.

CDRRMO chief Earl Timbancaya said they are preparing for “Condition Charlie” levels of disaster response, the highest alert level under the Oplan Listo manual of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) which contains pre-set guidelines for local governments in disaster responses.

The DILG manual states that local government units (LGUs) must secure all resources needed before, during, and after the event of the disaster. These preparations include securing power and communication resources, preparing for evacuation, having standby teams, and preparing relief goods.

Timbancaya said they are anticipating the worst to come such as flooding and strong winds that might result in damage to property.

“Although we are required na may pinakamataas na level ng preparations, kung makikita natin ang forecast, nasa Northern Palawan [ang bagyo]. So, basically, we are over-preparing. Iniiwasan nating hindi mabulaga,” Timbancaya said in an interview on Wednesday.

“We are anticipating that the city of Puerto Princesa and the entire province of Palawan will be placed under Signal No. 3 on Friday. May final meeting pa naman kasi mamaya sa regional level, so hindi pa final ang lahat,” he added.

With regards to evacuation, the CDRRMO is also waiting for official announcements from other concerned local government agencies when it comes to evacuating communities near flood-prone areas.

“Standard protocol naman ‘yan. Lalabas naman yong memo, either from the mayor or the city administrator, yong mga kailangangang gawin ng lahat ng agencies, including the barangay DRRMCs (disaster risk reduction and management councils),” he added.