By LOUI MALIZA
Padayon Pilipino .
SINCE 2013, the provincial government of Misamis Oriental has distributed a total of 180 multi-purpose vehicles (multi-cabs) to some of the critical areas in the province.
In all his turnover speeches, Provincial Governor Yevgeny Vincente Emano always emphasized that the multi-cabs are intended mainly for the hinterland barangays in Misamis Oriental.
“These multi-cabs are issued with a memorandum receipt (MR) to barangays without service vehicles to be utilized by the residents in times of emergencies. The multi cabs are also part of the provincial government’s program on transportation to ensure the delivery of basic services to the province’s 880,000 people,” Emano said.
Under the supervision of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Misamis Oriental Office (PDRRMO), most of the multi-cabs were distributed to “calamity and flood prone” areas in Misamis Oriental.
There are 424 barangays in Misamis Oriental, including the barangays of the two component cities of Gingoog and El Salvador. Most of the calamity and flood prone barangays are located in Gingoog City and the Municipalities of Talisayan, Medina, and Balingasag.
PDRRMO head Fernando Dy, Jr. said that the multi-cabs have been proven effective in times of emergencies, as a means of transport for evacuation and rapid deployment of disaster personnel to affected areas. Edgar Cagalawan, the PDRRMO head of operation and services, said that the multi-cabs were proven efficient in areas without means of transportation. According to him, the multi-cabs were utilized by responders who immediately provide medical assistance, evacuation, and relief goods to victims in disaster-hit areas. The PDRRMO has listed vulnerable areas, which are considered hazardous in times of emergencies. Some of the hazards include storm surge in coastal areas, landslide in the hinterlands, and flooding in lowland areas.
Dy shared that his office has assigned “responders” to all the towns and cities in Misamis Oriental who can immediately attend to imminent dangers or emegencies, especially in landslide prone areas. These “responders” coordinate closely with the PDRRMO head office at the provincial capitol via its “hotline” to provide updates in disaster-prone areas.
Emano, for his part, also explained that the multi-cabs are also used during the regular delivery of basic services to the rural villages in the province. These services include medical missions, legal assistance, birth and voters registration, introduction of modern farming technologies, conduct of marriage ceremonies, among others. Emano wants the basic services delivered to the doorsteps of the people of Misamis Oriental because that is what efficient governance is all about. According to him, the regular conduct of delivering basic services to the rural areas provides the provincial government a clearer picture of the needs of the barangay residents.
“There are still barangays in Misamis Oriental, which are hardly accessible by roads, especially in times of calamities. These barangays are always on top of the list,” Emano said. He has always been reminding the provincial capitol department heads of the real needs of the people in the hinterland barangays that were neglected and deprived of the basic services by his predecessor.
Emano’s leadership is guided, among others, by the declared policies of the state. One of which is Section 9, Article II, of the 1987 Philippine Constitution, partly citing the government’s mandate to “free the people from poverty through policies that provide adequate social services… and an improved quality of life for all.”
Emano emphasized that his administration is deeply rooted in the state policy of providing basic services to all, regardless of political color, although his bias is more towards the less fortunate. Thus, the primary objective of all the programs of the provincial government of Misamis Oriental is intended to improve the lives and protect the rights, especially of the less fortunate.
(Loui Maliza is a staff member at the capitol’s information office.)