City of San Fernando – The Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council 1 (RDRRMC1) is all set for the upcoming national and local elections, this was the assurance given by Office of Civil Defense Regional Director Melchito M. Castro and Chairperson of RDRRMC1 in a meeting held at Oasis Country Resort Hotel, Barangay Sevilla here.
The special meeting was attended by representatives from the nine RDRRMC member agencies that included the Office of Civil Defense (OCD), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Health (DOH), Philippine National Police (PNP), Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), Philippine Navy (PN), Philippine Coast-guard (PCG) and National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP). Repre-sentatives from the Provincial DRRM Office of Pangasinan, La Union and Ilocos Norte PPO also attended the meeting.
Although Commission on Elections Regional Election Officer Atty. Julius D. Torres was not able to attend the meeting due to testing and sealing of the vote counting machines in the region, a phone patch was set up inside the function hall where he gave his assurance that the poll body is ready for the conduct of a peaceful election in the region.
Meanwhile, DSWD has activated the Social Welfare Development Action Teams for the election. Relief goods are on standby within the region in case they would be needed. The “Balik Probinsya Assistance” program is on hand to offer free fare to indigent passengers who want to go back to their hometowns. DILG has also activated its Operations Center to monitor incidents especially in local government units under election watchlist areas. DOH reported the implementation of Department Memo No. 2016-0132 re: Declaration of Code White Alert Level in the conduct of the Philippine elections. DOH has signed a memorandum with COMELEC for the stationing of DOH personnel and allocation of resources for the provision of free first aid assistance and medicines in priority area voting centers.
PDRRMO Pangasinan and La Union have also activated their Operations Center. Water, Search and Rescue (WASAR) teams and equip-ment are on standby to be deployed in beach areas ready to respond to any untoward incident in their area of responsibility.
As the lead agency for Secure and Fair Elections (SAFE) in the May 9 polls, PNP PRO1 has deployed 6,561 personnel consisting of 449 PCOs, 6,092 PNCOs and 631 NUP during the elections. Assets and personnel of the BFP, PN and PCG are ready to be deployed to augment the PNP in the elections.
The RDRRMCI has been on Blue Alert Status since the first week of April.#