AFP integrates DRRM units

July 21, 2013 12:11 am 

MANILA, July 20 – In pursuit of a more effective and efficient disaster response operations, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) integrated its reserved disaster risk reduction and management companies to local DRRM units all over the National Capital Region in a ceremony held at the AFP Grandstand Saturday.

The integrated AFP Reservist DRRM units shall act as reliable first responder groups that will assist DRRM components of the local government units (LGUs) during disaster and calamities.

Lt. Col. Ramon Zagala, AFP public affairs office chief, said these outfits will also serve as pre-positioned units which will spearhead disaster preparedness and mitigation, and work closely with the LGUs and local populace.

Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Voltaire T. Gazmin said: “the paradigm shift of being proactive from a reactive stance on DRRM gives us more assurance that, together, we are better prepared to achieve our vision of having a safer, adaptive, and disaster-resilient community towards sustainable development.”

Zagala said the activity is one of the AFP, Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) and the DND's proactive measures in preparation during the typhoon season.

It is also part of the "DRRM Units Integration Program" which aims to organize and activate 137 DRRM companies in three years (2013-2015) to assist in building disaster resilient communities and ensure unhampered development.

The integration program further seeks to institutionalize partnership between the AFP and OCD in provision of manpower training, and equipment as well as sharing in funding support of proposed DRRM companies in 15 regions nationwide.

So far, 19 DRRM units have already been designated and activated nationwide; one each in Metro Cebu and Metro Davao and one in each cities and lone municipality of NCR with an additional maneuver DRRM company in the NCR.

Apart from intensifying disaster response and search and rescue operations, the programs is also aimed at strengthening and sustaining the reserve force capability through unit and individual training in collaboration with concerned stakeholders.

"The AFP for its part enjoins the people to support the program for it believes that security is a shared responsibility. The leadership therefore encourages the citizens to fuel the flame to continue burning through ‘Bayanihan,’ the synergy of collaboration and co-optation to build disaster resilient communities," Zagala concluded. (PNA)

LAM/PFN

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