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More than 100 representatives from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council member agencies, regional DRRM councils and other government offices attended an online joint meeting today, September 9, 2020 to further discuss preparedness and response activities for the rainy season during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Initiatives of the agencies for rainy season preparedness were tackled during the meeting as well as ways forward in emergency response.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) gave a comprehensive weather projection for the remaining months of 2020 and cited that about 7-10 typhoons may enter and affect the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) until Feb 2021. PAGASA also issued the La NiƱa Alert and expects above normal rainfall conditions over some parts of the country until the first quarter of 2021.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government presented its initiatives and various guidance to local government units including the issuance of memoranda on rainy season preparedness amid the pandemic. The Department of Social Welfare and Development, being the vice chair for response, gave updates on the status and prepositioning of food and non-food items to key locations across the archipelago.

Meanwhile, the Office of Civil Defense presented the draft revised National DRRM Plan (NDRRMP) incorporating public health measures for COVID-19.

NDRRMC Executive Director Usec Ricardo Jalad, who chaired the joint meeting, urged all involved agencies to ensure that disaster preparedness and response plans are regularly updated and calibrated to ensure their responsiveness to the ever-changing landscape of DRRM.

"With the threat of weather disturbances and other emergencies present within the current pandemic situation, the preparedness pillar must always stay attuned to the dynamics between implementing planned response actions and the need to stay protected from COVID19." Usec Jalad said.