As the agency in charge of ensuring that local government units are disaster-prepared, the DILG 10, in partnership with the Office of Civil Defense 10, conducted batch one of three-day disaster preparedness workshop at Hotel Conchita, Cagayan de Oro City on April 3-6, 2018.

     DILG 10 administered the activity as part of the series of Incident Command System (ICS) trainings for selected Local Disaster Risk Reduction Management Councils. As such, 27 LGUs, one province, and representatives of the Cagayan de Oro City Road and Traffic Administration (RTA) are set to undergo the capacity development activity in five separate batches from April to May 2018.

     The workshop zeroed in on the use of the Incident Command System (ICS) as a management concept in disaster response. It was also discussed in line with the Operation Listo, a disaster preparedness program by DILG.

     “The DILG is given a huge responsibility to ensure that LGUs are prepared in case of disasters,” said Hazel L. Occeña, Chief of DILG 10 Local Government Capacity Development Division (LGCDD).

     In the Disaster Preparedness manual of Operation Listo, LGUs are provided with a checklist of minimum steps to be implemented before, during, and after disaster.

     The training on basic ICS sought to capacitate LGUs in the execution of said list of steps by enabling responders to work within a common organization structure. It also facilitates close coordination among various groups by allowing for unified operations in aspects such as staffing, planning, organization, use of facilities, resource management, and demobilization.

     According to Ms. Occeña, there are prevailing response mechanisms in LGUs; however, “systematic and documented response mechanisms” should be in place so that LGUs are aware of what to do in spite of changes.

     The Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the Philippine Disaster Reduction and Management Act (RA 10121) provides for the establishment of the ICS for on-scene disaster response systems. It also prescribes the regular conduct of training for responders at all DRRMC levels.

     The ICS was introduced by the US Forest Service. It is a standard incident management system that can be used by Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Councils that can be utilized in emergency situations, man-made and natural alike.