Disaster Risk Reduction Management: A Call for Unity

Ania Zairene Grace Colongon

Life is composed of diverse metamorphic phenomena. We can’t deny the fact that we are constantly bombarded with enigmas that either break the tie that binds us, or draw us closer together. At present, natural and man-made catastrophes continue to flood. But we, Filipinos, are known to be resilient people. We have this ability to recover readily from depression and the like.
In light of this, resiliency goes hand in hand with being prepared. The adage, “An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.” proves that our readiness to face any kind of problem is really important. By doing so, we reduce/lessen, if not eradicate such problems before it continuously corrupt us.
Earthquakes, flashfloods, tornados, and super typhoons, are not strangers to us. The names Ondoy, Sendong, Yolanda, and Ruby had embossed a mark in Philippine history, when these super typhoons took billions of lives and properties in just a blink of an eye.
When inevitable calamities hit our country, the agency that goes on the frontline and takes immediate actions is the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.
National Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC) —“its name and acronym may be lengthy, but it plays a major role in keeping our country safe from disasters and ensuring quick recovery afterwards.”
“The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) is the agency tasked to prepare for, and respond to, natural calamities, like typhoons and earthquakes. It also monitors human-induced emergencies, such as armed conflicts and maritime accidents. As a policy-making body, it is assigned to formulate a national disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM) framework that provides for a “comprehensive, all hazards, multi-sectoral, inter-agency and community-based approach to disaster risk reduction and management,” according to Republic Act 10121, NDRRMC’s enabling law. The DRRM framework it created in June 2011 is integrated into a National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Plan, which is implemented by the Office of Civil Defense (OCD), under the Department of National Defense (DND). It covers 4 DRRM aspects, namely: prevention and mitigation, preparedness, response and rehabilitation, and recovery.” (Bueza, 2013)
To aid the NDRRMC in making preemptive measures to reduce the impact of natural calamities, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) also extended their hands, after the devastation brought by typhoon Yolanda.
The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is partnering with the Government of the Philippines through the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to further build capacity for disaster preparedness and response in the country.
The collaboration will involve boosting DSWD’s National Resource Operation Centre (NROC) in Pasay City and its regional warehouses through the prepositioning of relief items and operational support equipment, as well as the development and implementation of government training programs with emphasis on disaster response, logistics and supply chain management.
According to Praveen Agrawal, WFP Philippines Representative and Country Director, “The Philippines experiences more than 20 typhoons a year, including Typhoon Hagupit, locally known as Ruby, which hit us this December. “These natural calamities continue to threaten the food security in the country which is why WFP remains strongly committed to work alongside the Government in its disaster preparedness and response initiatives.”
“Strengthening DSWD’s response hubs is a step towards a more prepared Philippines so we can better reach affected people with food assistance. We look forward to this strategic partnership with the Philippine Government,” Agrawal added.
“WFP has long been our partner in providing assistance to survivors of calamities,” DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman added. “This partnership strengthens our existing logistic and relief delivery capacities, and will surely improve our immediate response to any disaster.”
WFP also has future plans with DSWD and the Office of the Civil Defense to build disaster response centers in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. Each disaster response center will consist of two buildings built and funded by WFP. The first building will be used for packing and storing family food packs while the second building will house search and rescue equipment. The centers will initially be managed by WFP and will be handed over to the Philippine Government after a two-year period. (Rappler.com)
If we will take a closer look at the situation, Disaster Risk Reduction Management is not just the responsibility of the NDRRMC, DSWD, WFP, and the Local Government. Let us start from ourselves, and let us create positive changes. Let us go hand in hand! If we cannot achieve uniformity, then let us aim for unity.

Reference List:
Rappler.com (2014) DSWD and WFP partner for enhancing disaster preparedness retrieved from http://www.rappler.com/bulletin-board/78796-dswd-and-wfp-partner-for-enhancing-disaster-preparedness
Micheal Bueza (2013) FAST FACTS: The NDRRMC retrieved from http://www.rappler.com/newsbreak/iq/43819-fast-facts-ndrrmc

DSWD and WFP partner for enhancing disaster preparedness
Press release: The United Nations World Food Programme is partnering with the Philippine government to further build capacity for disaster preparedness and response in the country
Rappler.com
Published 6:59 PM, December 23, 2014
Updated 6:59 PM, Dec 23, 2014
DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman and World Food Program Country Director Praveen Agrawal exchange documents during the Signing Ceremony for the Letter of Understanding between the DSWD and the UN-WFP on Disaster Preparedness and Response Capacity Enhancement Project.
DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman and World Food Program Country Director Praveen Agrawal exchange documents during the Signing Ceremony for the Letter of Understanding between the DSWD and the UN-WFP on Disaster Preparedness and Response Capacity Enhancement Project.
This is a press release from the Department of Social Welfare and Development
MANILA, Philippines – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is partnering with the Government of the Philippines through the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to further build capacity for disaster preparedness and response in the country.
The collaboration will involve boosting DSWD’s National Resource Operation Centre (NROC) in Pasay City and its regional warehouses through the prepositioning of relief items and operational support equipment, as well as the development and implementation of government training programs with emphasis on disaster response, logistics and supply chain management.
“The Philippines experiences more than 20 typhoons a year, including Typhoon Hagupit, locally known as Ruby, which hit us this December,” said Praveen Agrawal, WFP Philippines Representative and Country Director. “These natural calamities continue to threaten the food security in the country which is why WFP remains strongly committed to work alongside the Government in its disaster preparedness and response initiatives.”
“Strengthening DSWD’s response hubs is a step towards a more prepared Philippines so we can better reach affected people with food assistance. We look forward to this strategic partnership with the Philippine Government,” Agrawal added.
“WFP has long been our partner in providing assistance to survivors of calamities,”
DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman added. “This partnership strengthens our existing logistic and relief delivery capacities, and will surely improve our immediate response to any disaster.”
WFP also has future plans with DSWD and the Office of the Civil Defense to build disaster response centers in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. Each disaster response centre will consist of two buildings built and funded by WFP. The first building will be used for packing and storing family food packs while the second building will house search and rescue equipment. The centers will initially be managed by WFP and will be handed over to the Philippine Government after a two-year period. – Rappler.com

FAST FACTS: The NDRRMC
MANILA, Philippines – Its name and acronym may be lengthy, but it plays a major role in keeping the country safe from disasters and ensuring quick recovery afterwards.
The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) is the agency tasked to prepare for, and respond to, natural calamities, like typhoons and earthquakes. It also monitors human-induced emergencies, such as armed conflicts and maritime accidents.
The NDRRMC uses strategies to mitigate the impact of disasters and increase the resiliency of both the national government and local government units (LGUs) in the face of disasters.
As a policy-making body, it is assigned to formulate a national disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM) framework that provides for a “comprehensive, all hazards, multi-sectoral, inter-agency and community-based approach to disaster risk reduction and management,” according to Republic Act 10121, NDRRMC’s enabling law.
The DRRM framework it created in June 2011 is integrated into a National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Plan, which is implemented by the Office of Civil Defense (OCD), under the Department of National Defense (DND). It covers 4 DRRM aspects, namely: prevention and mitigation, preparedness, response and rehabilitation, and recovery.

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