(PAGASA 24-HOUR PUBLIC WEATHER FORECAST as of Friday, 19 August 2022) At 3:00 AM today, a Low Pressure Area (LPA) was estimated based on all available data at 1,325 km East of Central Luzon (15.6°N, 134.5°E). Southwest Monsoon affecting the western sections of Northern and Central Luzon. The entire Caraga region will experience partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers or thunderstorms due to Southwest Monsoon/Localized Thunderstorms. Possible flash floods or landslides during severe thunderstorms. Light to Moderate winds coming from Southeast to South will prevail with slight to moderate seas / (0.6 to 2.1 meters).



Thursday, July 14, 2022

Caraga RDRRMC inks partnership with private orgs to strengthen DRRM

By Doreen Marielle N. Rosales

BUTUAN CITY -- To strengthen the capacity and effectiveness of its disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM), the Caraga Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC) tapped seven more private/volunteer organizations to help boost its manpower and resources in times of disaster.

These seven organizations are the Fraternal Order of Eagles - Philippine Eagles Caraga Region II, Rotary Club of Central Butuan, Hearts for Paws, Philippine Emergency Telecommunications Search and Rescue Action Group (PETRASAG), Calaghan Association of Radio Specialist (CARS) Inc., Philippine Technological Council - Young Engineers Section (PTC-YES), and Balangay Disaster Resiliency Operators.


RDRRMC Chairperson Liza R. Mazo said the partnership, which was recently formalized through a signing of a Memorandum of Agreement, is part of the Council's efforts to further capacitate all aspects of its disaster operations.

"Ang membership naman ng RDRRMC per law is mostly [composed of] government agencies and tatlong na private organizations. So what we did was inextend natin 'yan through partnership (The membership of RDRRMC per law is mostly composed of government agencies and three private organizations. So what we did was to extend it through partnership)," said the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) regional director.

The three existing partner organizations are the Caraga Alliance of DRRM Officers (CADRRMOs), Rescue and Emergency Service Provider and Disaster (RESPOND) Inc., and Sibog Katawhan Alang sa Paglambo (SIKAP) Inc.

Mazo said these seven new partner private/volunteer organizations specialize in various fields of disaster response, from volunteer work to animal welfare.

"Maraming aspeto ng disaster 'yung matutulungan nila. In terms of disaster preparedness, pwede silang mag-facilitate ng training through our help and tayo 'yung magpapa-conduct ng training na sila 'yung participant. Pwede na din natin maabot 'yung mga sektor na nirerepresentahan nila dahil kadalasan, mga LGUs lang 'yung nakakaabot sa kanila (They can help with different aspects of disaster operations. In terms of disaster preparedness, they can facilitate training through our help and they can also participate in our training. We can now reach sectors that they represent, which are usually accessible to LGUs)," said the RDRRMC chair.

Animal welfare group Hearts for Paws has been operating in Butuan City since 2017, advocating for animal care and responsible pet ownership. They also rescue abandoned and impounded animals and set them up for adoption. Five years into their operation and with only over 20 active volunteers, Hearts for Paws has been officially recognized by the city government of Butuan as their partner in promoting animal welfare.

The group is also working on spreading awareness on the Animal Welfare Act of 1998 (Republic Act No. 8485), which, according to founder Tweety Butao, is still not well-implemented in the country.

"During disasters, there are many animals that are neglected, ignored, left behind. Of course, human lives are the top priority but animals also have lives," she said.

"Through this partnership, through our group, we are trying to spread awareness on how to prevent loss of lives during these situations," she added.

PETSARAG, a volunteer action group based in Bayugan City, Agusan del Sur province, specializes in swift water and high-angle rescue and emergency telecommunications. Its 30 active members are not only skilled in search and rescue operations and disaster response, but also in providing training.

The group started in 2010 with only a few members who provide volunteer services to communities in Bayugan City during disasters. Four years later, this group of volunteers would then be eventually known as PETSARAG.

For PETSARAG founding president Dante E. Sayon, the partnership with RDRRMC will help the group expand its services to communities across Caraga Region and boost its credibility as a volunteer action group.

"Nakilala na 'yung PETSARAG, hindi lang sa city at provincial level pati na sa regional level. Mas maganda 'yon, pero malaki na din 'yung responsibility namin kasi partner na so kailangan talagang magrespond kung kinakailangan (PETSARAG is now recognized not only in the city and provincial levels but also in the regional level. This is great but this also means we now hold a greater responsibility since we are considered partners, so we have to respond when needed)," he said.

With this new development, RDRRMC is hoping to encourage more groups to collaborate with them.

"Maaasahan ninyo na kami sa RDRRMC ay tutulong din sa inyong activities para mas masustain 'yung mga programa ninyo (You can count on us in the RDRRMC to help with your activities to sustain your programs)," Director Mazo said. (DMNR/PIA-Caraga)