TACLOBAN CITY – The Northern Samar provincial government has asked village officials in the province to help mitigate the impact of natural calamities following the recent widespread floods in the province that affected more than 100,000 families.

Speaking to local officials on Thursday, Governor Edwin Ongchuan said the cooperation of village heads and villagers is crucial in building disaster resilience.

“The cooperation of the people from the villages is very critical in times of disaster. We need to work together and be always ready to lessen the risk and mitigate the impact of natural calamities,” Ongchuan told new village officials.

Among the primary duties of village officials include the establishment and operationalization of the barangay risk reduction management committees, risk reduction and management plans, and allocation of funds for disaster response and recovery.
Rei Josiah Echano, head of the provincial disaster risk reduction and management office, emphasized the importance of unity, cooperation, and preparedness among the people of Northern Samar to achieve zero casualties during typhoons and other calamities.

“We don’t know when disaster, specifically stronger typhoons, will strike, but it’s better for us to always be ready. Though the people of Northern Samar have shown resilience, we need to continuously assess our readiness,” Echano added.

The provincial government acknowledges the partnership between the community, government agencies, and disaster officials, which has led to Northern Samar being recognized as a fully compliant provincial government in terms of disaster risk reduction and management in the 2023 Gawad Kalasag national award.

Northern Samar’s heavy floods last week were caused by unprecedented 618 millimeters rainfall in a span of 24 hours, or an equivalent to nearly six weeks’ volume of rainfall in a single day.

The floods have affected over 100,000 families in Northern Samar and left P99 million damage to the agricultural sector.