DAGUPAN CITY – Mayor Belen T. Fernandez, in her second State of the City Address (SOCA) this year, reported on the city’s resiliency against climate change and a peaceful, orderly and safe Dagupan.


Before a crowd of city officials, city employees, barangay officials, volunteers, and members of non-government organizations and the business sectors, among others, Fernandez outlined in her SOCA on July 17 at CSI Stadia her numerous programs, projects and accomplishments in strengthening the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (CDRRMC) and its implementing arm the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO).


“Having survived the 1990 killer quake and later grown out of it for the better, we now know how hard it is to rise from the ashes of calamities. We now know how to simulate flood events even before they actually happen,” said Fernandez.


To date, the CDRRMO is completely armed with various life-saving devices and equipment including several motor and rubber boats, evacuation trucks, ambulance, fire truck and mini-dump trucks used to carry spoils from the rivers to be used for backfilling  in its Operation Sitio, which is a flood mitigating program initiated by Mayor Fernandez.


Dikes and concrete piles were constructed to protect the city’s river banks from erosion, barangay roads and drainage were upgraded, dredging of the rivers continues and the city’s creeks and waterways were cleaned as among the city’s flood mitigating measures.


“We are grateful that with Congressman Christopher De Venecia, the Department of Public Works and Highways is now working on protecting our river banks by building dikes and concrete piles,” said Fernandez.


Fernandez also equipped the city with ARC GIS software, LIDAR map and Garmin GPS field instruments from various grants, national and international, which are installed in the city’s e-Smart Operation Center.


On man-made incidents like accidental fire and arson, traffic accident and traffic gridlock, the city intends to purchase additional fire trucks and install additional traffic lights to complement the services of the city’s one fire truck and existing traffic lights.


“In the light of what is happening in Marawi, our city is now also preparing for the possible presence   of terrorists and their arsenal of death such as IED under the watch of our chief of police,” said Fernandez.


Structures like a three-storey evacuation center in Salapingao and the construction of two-storey schools were also among the disaster mitigating measures initiated by the city government under the watch of Fernandez.


“Government structures, aside from their primary purpose, must serve as evacuation center and must be so destined that they will remain standing when all others have fallen,” said Fernandez.


The city also entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with owners of three-storey commercial and residential buildings in the city to serve as a Privately-Hosted Evacuation Centers when tsunami strikes the city.


Prepared, alert and ever ready, the city can now confidently face any eventuality, be it natural or man-made.


“Under the mantra of ‘Peaceful and Orderly, Safe and Resilient City’, we shall begin each day smartly! And then follow up the next with a smart initiative, so that we Dagupeños from one day to the next can reap and enjoy the rewards of a growing ecosystem of smart initiatives. With our newly crafted Comprehensive Land Use Plan, let us build and use our three growth centers as engines for change,” said Fernandez. (Joseph C. Bacani/CIO/July 17, 2017)