OCD 7 spearheads kick-off activities in observance of the National Disaster Consciousness Month on 01 July 2016.

Members of the Regional DRRM Council, Cebu City DRRM Council and representatives from the civil society organization attended the Holy Mass celebrated by Rev. Fr. Joseph Lareda held at Metropolitan Cathedral in Cebu City.

Fr. Lareda, in his homily, highlighted the importance of disaster preparedness saying it should not only be the responsibility of the government but also by each individual.

The mass celebration was followed by a press conference attended by the Regional Directors of DOST, DILG, NEDA, PAGASA and representatives coming from DSWD, MGB and PIA. Emphasized in the press conference were preparations undertaken by the government for La Niña phenomenon in the region.

PAGASA Visayas Director, Engr. Oscar Tabada, said the phenomenon has already developed in June with the recorded above-normal rainwater volume. He said the region may mostly feel it in the last quarter of 2016 up until February 2017.

However, Tabada said they already conducted series of La Niña caravan in Region 7. Aside from this, other agencies like the DOST, DSWD, NEDA, MGB, DILG, among others have already beefed up their preparations for the said phenomenon.

MGB has already completed its geohazard maps at a scale of 1:10,000. DOST, on the other hand, also produced storm surge maps for Bohol, Cebu and Siquijor.

Meanwhile, DILG already came up with a consolidated La Niña plan from the three provinces and has issued directives to the Local Government Units to undertake preparedness measures. DSWD, for its part, is in constant coordination with LGUs with regard to prepositioning and stockpiling of family food packs.NEDA, on the other hand, emphasized the importance of planning like the Comprehensive Land Use Plan.

For its part, OCD 7 has also lined up activities for the month of July to highlight preparations for La Niña namely the conduct of Water Search and Rescue, review of Rainy Season Plan, conduct of trainings on Pre-Disaster Risk Assessment and Rapid Damage Assessment and Needs Analysis, conduct of Regional Rescue Olympics, among others.