The Office of Civil Defense (OCD) has set aside nearly PHP300 million to build the first integrated regional office in Palo, Leyte in the bid to boost the agency’s disaster response capacity.
OCD Administrator Undersecretary Ariel Bonifacio said in an interview Monday that the facility in Eastern Visayas is the first regional office with a warehouse to store prepositioned goods.
“This is the first integrated regional office in the country. Regional offices in other areas have no warehouses and facilities for pre-positioned goods. The command and control are important so that we can effectively manage ongoing disaster,” Bonifacio told reporters.
The new OCD field office will rise within the Government Center in Palo town. Since 2014, the office has been renting office spaces in Tacloban City.
Officials held a groundbreaking of the project on March 4, which is expected to be completed in two years.
OCD is an agency under the Department of National Defense and serves as the implementing arm of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council. It is tasked to provide leadership in the continuous development of strategic and systematic approaches as well as measures to reduce the vulnerabilities and risks to hazards and manage the consequences of disasters.
Meanwhile, Bonifacio witnessed the training and simulation of first-man responders training on collapse building search and rescue in this city.
The training is participated by 64 volunteers from Tacloban and nearby towns of Palo, Sta. Fe, Tolosa and San Miguel, all in Leyte province.
Bonifacio lauded the initiative of OCD and the regional office of the Bureau of Fire Protection to train and involve more volunteer groups that are ready for deployment in search and rescue operations during calamities and disasters.
Collapse structure search and rescue is now an important training that needs to be provided to search and rescue personnel, a lesson learned from the recent 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria. (PNA)