Ilocos Norte calls for monitoring of elderly during calamity

LAOAG CITY — The Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office is currently completing a list of all its senior citizens to ensure their safety during natural calamities.

Based on previous typhoon experiences, the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) noted that some senior citizens living alone in their old houses are the most vulnerable during heavy rains and strong winds brought about by typhoon.

While others opt to evacuate to safer ground during flash floods, these elders prefer to stay in their own houses despite risks of being swept away, and it may already be too late for first responders to rescue them.

Provincial Social Welfare and Development Officer Lillian Rin said Friday afternoon they are now coordinating with the city and municipal social welfare officers from the 21 towns and two cities of Ilocos Norte to make a list of all senior citizens, where they reside and what number to contact to in case of emergency.

Once the monitoring for the “Lolo and Lola’s watch” is completed, Rin said they will also request all assigned barangay health workers and barangay councilors to regularly visit the senior citizens in their areas.

Rin said similar monitoring should also apply to persons with disabilities particularly those living in in highly vulnerable areas.

As part of achieving Ilocos Norte’s vision as a sustainable, resilient and livable province, the provincial government through the PDRRMC aims for zero casualty during natural disasters.

Of the PHP 68 million calamity fund of Ilocos Norte, about 70 percent has been allocated to disaster preparedness, prevention and mitigation measures while the remaining 30 percent will be spent for quick response. (PNA)