Solons propose reorientation for local execs on crisis management

September 6, 2010 11:33 am 

MANILA, Sept. 5 — Lawmakers called for a reorientation of local government officials on the role and scope of the local crisis management committee (CMC) in light of the Quirino Grandstand hostage-taking incident last month that resulted in the death of eight Chinese nationals.

House Deputy Speaker and Zamboanga City Rep. Ma. Isabelle Climaco said a reorientation of LGU officials on the role and task of the local crisis committee will enable local officials deal clearly, decisively and efficiently on any hostage crisis and other similar situation in the future.

"There is a need for our local officials to first review everything about the local CMC including its primary mandate, composition and individual task of its members to ensure coordinated action in order to minimize danger to life, health and property from a crisis caused by human activity or natural disaster," she said.

Climaco said the reorientation of local officials should be done immediately to ensure their preparedness and efficiency.

"The statements and admissions made by (Manila) Vice Mayor Isko Moreno before members of the Incident Investigation and Review Committee provides a more compelling reason to conduct a reorientation of our local officials now about the role and functions of the local Crisis Management Committee," she said.

Moreno, the vice chairman of the Manila local crisis committee, earlier admitted that knowing Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim has left the command center, he (Moreno) left also.

He also admitted that he was not aware of the structure, specific functions, and composition of a local crisis committee but knew that he was acting as its vice chair, with Lim as the chair.

Upon further query by the probe body, Moreno said he did not know the "by the book" process of how the crisis management committee operated initially with its activation.

The Manila Vice Mayor also replied in the negative to Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo's question if he was aware that according to the protocol, members of the crisis management committee should be at the command post during the progress of the incident.

Meanwhile, Camiguin Rep. Pedro Romualdo said a reorientation of local officials on the role and importance of the local CMC will gauge the present awareness and preparedness of local officials in dealing with any crisis in their areas of responsibility.

"Crisis management is part of effective governance and in keeping local peace and security. We should arm our local officials primarily with all the necessary knowledge to guide them on how to deal effectively with any crisis," he said.

Romualdo said if members of the local CMC are clear about their individual tasks and their overall objective, then it can be expected that their operations will be orderly.

"A reorientation will likewise determine what else should be done to help our local officials address a crisis situation," he said. (PNA)

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