Mindanao Times

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.

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