The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) continues to conduct trainings and Information and Education Campaigns (IEC) in different municipalities to aid residents’ knowledge in responding to calamities and other eventualities.

PDRRMO head Jeremias Alili said aside from regular preparations like prepositioning of goods, the conduct seminars and simulation exercises as part of the trainings, particularly on evacuation plans and hazards in different barangays.

“We also train responders in the municipalities because of our distance so that during emergencies, we have first line of responders in the barangays,” Alili said during the Arampangan sa Kapitolyo last Friday.

“We regularly conduct activities especially in areas that are identified to be prone to disaster, especially flooding and landslide. One is we have community-based DRRM training where we introduce to them our sort of communicating the risk, the possible effects of landslide and what to do,” he added.

The PDRRMO also regularly conducts hazard assessments along with concerned agencies such as Department of Public Works and Highways to check if a place is free from hazards like landslide, volcanic eruption, earthquake or flooding.

“Aside from that, we also implement mitigation projects like repair of drainages and box culverts, slope protection to prevent landslides,” he stated.

He also said such mitigations are implemented in situations that cannot be avoided because the place is the only one identified as most feasible area.

He particularly cited the situation in Barangay Tinitian, Roxas where the school site is a flood prone area and they recommended that the school be transferred to another location.

He also mentioned the ground subsidence potential areas in the towns of Sofronio Española, Bataraza, Rizal and Quezon which they are focusing on and are checking regularly.

“Every now and then, we have visitors from Mines and Geosciences Bureau, geologists who check areas that are potential to ground subsidence or what we call sinkhole,” he explained.

“During the ground subsidence assessment we conducted last 2019, we saw that one of the classrooms in Punang National High School (Sofronio Española) is on top of a cavity which is as big as the classroom, 38 meters below found by the ground penetrating radar,” he added.

He said they have advised not use the classroom as an evacuation center during rainy season and recommended that the school to be transferred to a different site and that the municipal government has already identified a new school site for relocation.