OCD-Bicol chief Raffy Alejandro turns over hat to Gobenchiong of OCD-Negros

LEGAZPI CITY, March 2 (PNA) —- After a decade of serving the Bicolanos as head of the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) Bicol and Regional Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (RDDRRMC), Bernardo “Raffy” Alejandro is leaving for another post at the OCD central office in Quezon City.

Undersecretary Ricardo Halad, OCD administrator and executive director of the National DRRMC, was guest of honor during the change of head office ceremonies held Thursday morning in front of the OCD regional office inside Camp Simeon Ola in this city.

Halad installed Blanche T. Gobenchiong from Negros Island Region as new OCD-Bicol chief. Alejandro will be the new head of Planning Service of the central Office inside Camp Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo in Quezon City.

Alejandro’s new hat will be as in charge of planning, programming, budgeting and policy making for all Civil Defense Offices nationwide.

He said he considers his new assignment as a big challenge to his capability as a public servant and government official with his past experiences in the Bicol region, a calamity-prone region, having strengthened him enough to deal with the new responsibility given to him by President Rodrigo Duterte.

"I feel honored with my new responsibility but I will not forget the Bicol region. All the best practices we implemented in the Bicol region will surely be shared in the central office and with the other provinces," he said.

He added he will miss the rapport and collaboration with OCD’s partners in Bicol, including those from media who helped lighten the load of OCD in disseminating information, especially during strong typhoons.

Alejandro was appointed to his new post last December but typhoon Nina put it on hold until last Monday, when his appointment was met with approval and endorsement from all OCD councils tasked with the response and rehabilitation program for those areas that are badly damaged by typhoons.

He said he believes he could be of more help in pushing for the submitted program that will be coursed through the new office that he will handle.

Gobenchiong said she considers her assignment in Bicol as a big challenge.

"Although I am from Leyte province which has nearly the same situation as that of the Bicol region, being a disaster prone area, it is different here because of the active volcanoes like Mt. Mayon,” she said.

Gobenchiong said “isa ang volcano na hazard na wala sa amin," (a volcano is one such hazard that we do not have).

Dr. Cedric Daep, head of Albay Provincial Safety and Emergency Mnagement Office (APSEMO), said one thing they will miss with Alejandro is his working relationship with all the local government units and other government agencies.

Daep said he is hopeful that the new regional director of OCD will be able to deliver the services needed by the Bicolanos. (PNA) LAP/GVR/JH/CBD