The province of Camiguin updates its contingency plan on volcanic eruption in partnership with the Department of Science and Technology and the Office of Civil Defense, through the conduct of a workshop on April 12-14, 2023 in Mambajao.
Governor Xavier Jesus Romualdo officially welcomed all 300 participants from various clusters, barangays, and organizations during the opening ceremony at the Camiguin Convention Center in Mambajao. Camiguin district representative Hon. Jurdin Jesus Romualdo shared in his message the importance of this plan for the benefit of all residents of the island-province.
DOST Secretary Dr. Renato U. Solidum, Jr graced the opening ceremony as key Resource Speaker giving a lecture on “Understanding and Preparing for Geological Hazards”. During his speech, he emphasized that knowing and understanding various hazards caused by volcanic eruption is vital in the creation of a contingency plan. “In Camiguin, you need to prepare for all hazard…volcanic eruption, earthquakes, and also prepare for landslides and global warming”, he added. Prior to his appointment, Solidum served as DOST Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) officer-in-charge and DOST undersecretary. He is among the country’s top experts in the field of geology.
DOST Undersecretary for Regional Operations Sancho A. Mabborang and a team from DOST-X were also present during the opening ceremony in full support of this event, as the agency is the vice-chair for prevention and mitigation in the regional disaster risk reduction and management council.
Office of Civil Defense Region 10 Director Antonio Sugarol was also in attendance at the opening ceremonies. He expressed full support for the activity.
The four-day event is a training-workshop according to the module implemented by the Office of the Civil Defense. Among the topics to be discussed are Contingency Plan factors, Hazard plans, Health-related hazard due to Volcanic Activity, Establishment of Incident Command Management Team, and more.
Located along the Pacific ring of fire, the Philippines is highly susceptible to seismic and volcanic risks. The World Risk Index 2022 stated that the country is one of the most at risk and exposed to natural hazards and the adverse effects of climate change.
With the exposure to these hazards, resilience building is a priority concern. The community should be prepared for the possibility of disasters while preventing and mitigating such from happening. The Local Government Units across the country have gradually shifted their approach from reactive to proactive disaster risk management. In this initiative, GeoRiskPH has been utilized by LGUs, and even private entities.
Dr. Macario Oclarit, President of Camiguin Polytechnic State College supported the event by allowing teachers to help in the updating of the Contingency Plan for volcanic eruption.
The Mambajao DRRM Officer, Ms. Raquel Ranara in close coordination with Ms.Joanne Katherine Rosales-Banaag, Provincial S&T Director, and Mr. Trestan Rey Ebarre, Chief Capacity Building and Training Officer of OCD-10 and Ms. Joan Salcedo of PHIVOLCS were the focal persons who worked for more than two months to prepare the said activity. It was realized upon the request of Congressman JJ Romualdo.
The most active and well-known volcano on the island is Mount Hibok-Hibok, which has erupted several times in the past. Its last eruption was in 1951, when boiling lava, poisonous gasses and landslides killed 3000 people. (Nova Belle Calotes/DOST 10)