NorCot joint councils to hasten recovery in quake-hit villages
KIDAPAWAN CITY– North Cotabato Gov. Nancy Catamco on Friday convened the joint provincial peace, development, and disaster management councils to expedite recovery efforts in quaked afflicted parts of the province.
Speaking during the meeting at the provincial capitol in Barangay Amas here, Catamco said in disaster management relief has to be rapid and short-term recovery efforts must minimize the time needed to re-house people safely and to re-establish livelihoods.
During this “transitional” phase, it is critical that communities must be properly informed about longer-term plans “in order to reduce anxiety and frustration,” she said.
The governor presented guidelines for postearthquake rehabilitation plans and activities that the joint council members have approved.
These include prior consultation with the people and communities before the implementation of any rehabilitation-related project or program, rehabilitation plans and activities must be inclusive, peopleoriented and respectful to the common aspirations of the concerned communities.
Catamco said the comprehensive land-use plan of local government unit (LGUs) shall be considered in determining the relocations or resettlement sites for the affected communities or barangays.
“Residents of earthquake-affected areas shall be given free choice to return to safe areas within or around the location of their original community or settle in relocation sites,” she said.
Catamco added that the indigenous people shall be free to return to safe locations within the ancestral domain area.
“Thus, areas within the ancestral domain area must be the first priority in determining relocation or re-settlement site for the IPs,” she said.
The joint councils also approved the strict enforcement of the compliance of legally-mandated standards required for all building materials.
Proposals for the provincial government to comZAMBOANGA
pliment the LGUs recovery efforts through close coordination, even partnership, to address the identified needs or gaps in their respective rehabilitation plans were approved.
Catamco said the councils have agreed to put consideration and adaption of various core shelter models which are earthquake-resilient, including the core shelter designed by the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
Kidapawan City and the towns of Makilala, Tulunan, Magpet, Arakan, and Matalam were affected by the series of earthquakes that rocked the province since Oct. 16.
Most of the LGUs continue to rise from the rubbles of the calamity as the number of aftershocks has been fewer the past days, a good indication, according to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology station in the province.