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OCD–ARMM urges local media to disseminate disaster warnings using Muslim dialects

Myrna Angot

By Noel Y. Punzalan

Philippine News Agency
CAMP SIONGCO, Maguindanao
July 11,2016

The Office of Civil Defense – Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (OCD – ARMM) urged on Monday various media entities here to disseminate disaster warning information and updates in various forms of Filipino – Muslim dialects to be easily understood by various tribal communities in the region.

Myrna Angot, OCD–ARMM officer-in-charge, admitted that even their office is having a hard time translating some English terms to local dialects on time as warning reports should be transmitted swiftly and accurately to the communities in the region.

“Weather terms like Low Pressure Area and Tropical Depression for example are hardly understood in the grassroots level,” Angot said during the OCD – ARMM Tri – Media Forum on Basic Risk Reduction and Management held at their office inside this camp.

The ARMM comprises the Muslim-dominated provinces of Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Sulu, Tawi-tawi and Basilan.

Apart from Tagalog and Cebuano, prevalent among the local dialects in the region are Maguindanaon, Maranao, Chavacano, Yakan, Tausug, and Samal, among others.

Members of the media vowed to do everything they can to help the OCD–ARMM in its predicament.

Media personalities here who could speak Maguindanaon vowed to ask colleagues stationed in other areas of the ARMM to do their share of conveying the warnings to communities reached by their stations like in the Zamboanga peninsula.

On July 16, the OCD ARMM will spearhead a “Flood Drill Simulation Exercise in Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao in consonance with July’s observance of the National Disaster Consciousness Month.

Angot said the flood drill is significant and timely considering that the country has entered the rainy season and threats of flood are imminent.

“For one thing, not only lives and property will be saved, but more effective emergency management shall be enabled only if we are prepared,” she said.

The simulation exercise has for its theme “"Kahandaan at Pagtugon sa Sakuna, Tungkulin ng Bawat Isa".

The OCD–ARMM, which is in charge of logistical management, forms part of the region’s Humanitarian Emergency Action Response Team, a cluster of crisis management government – line agencies that includes the Department of Social Welfare and Development; Department of Health; Department of Public Works and Highways and Department of Education, among other committee members. (PNA)
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