Iloilo City aims to build resilience to disasters

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Iloilo City has been tapped by the National Resilience Council (NRC) to become a model of resilience.

Mayor Jerry Treñas, NRC President Ma. Antonia Yulo-Loyzaga and University of the Philippines Visayas Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Dr. Gay De Fiesta signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) last Saturday.

“We need to be resilient. This support coming from the Manila Observatory, NRC, and Taiwan will go a long way to make sure that our people will be safe and not only our people but investors who will be investing in many other businesses here will be safe,” said Treñas.

The collaboration between the institutions and private sectors, he added, will provide the city with the capacity to meet several challenges already that come with the climate change.

Loyzaga said they chose Iloilo City because the city is constantly exposed to a number of hazards such as typhoons, earthquakes, floods, and severe rain.

The city has a very good foundation in terms of leadership and collaboration from all members of the society, she added.

“What we are trying to do is identify cities wherein the leadership is already enlightened and willing to cooperate with multiple sectors. The NRC approached Iloilo City because we are aware that the leadership is open to both the collaboration with the private sector and the science and technology community. Iloilo has very good foundation for how evident-based risk governance can actually be part of the sustainability of the city,” according to her.

As part of its partnership, Iloilo City received disaster risk reduction devices coming from the National Science and Technology Center for Disaster Reduction (NCDR) in Taiwan.

The city government also received 20 sets of P-alert and rain gauges where it will be installed in the 20 identified locations in the city.

City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Officer Donna Magno said the rain gauges measure the rainfall amount and take note of the precipitation patterns while the P-alert can detect the first movement before the main wave of an earthquake hits by releasing warnings.

“The devices will be connected to internet and will share data to the server based in Manila Observatory and NCDR where they will analyze and interpret the data for Iloilo City,” Magno also said.

The signing of the MOU will pave the way for the improvement of resilience outcomes including the fulfillment of the local government unit resilience score card; conduct of community level risk assessment; and establishment of public private partnership among target local government units and local private sectors.

The expected outcomes of the partnership will be an integrated risk assessment; leadership for resilient LGUs programs; resilience roadmap and integrated multi-stakeholder plan among others.