QUEZON CITY -- The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) continues to empower local government units (LGUs) across the country in the updating of their disaster plans through integration of accurate data, hazard maps, and risk assessments.
Now on its fourth run, the comprehensive and science-based capacity building training program has guided 144 local governments as they update their Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Plans (LDRRMPs).
“We want to support our LGUs in updating and upgrading their LDRRMPs to gear towards risk reduction. We want to proactively reduce the risks and not just react and manage the disasters that will come our way,” said Undersecretary Ricardo B. Jalad, NDRRMC Executive Director and Civil Defense Administrator.
The Office of Civil Defense (OCD), in collaboration with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and the World Bank led the conduct of the "Coaching Sessions: GeoRiskPH-informed LDRRMP '' held from December 2021 to March 2022.
The Coaching Sessions brought together more than 399 LDRRM officers, planners, and implementers in the country. It served as a platform for LGUs to review their LDRRMPs using GeoRiskPH data and to realign their plans to the new National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Plan (NDRRMP 2020-2030).
In 2021, the NDRRMC emphasized the benefits of using data from GeoRiskPH in formulating and updating the LGUs’ LDRRMPs. Through Memorandum No. 38, s. 2021, (Reiterating the Use of Data from GeoRiskPH for Local DRRM Planning), the NDRRMC reiterates the use of GeoRiskPH in LDRRM planning.
NDRRMC encourages the Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Councils (LDRRMCs) to use the platform's HazardHunterPH, GeoAnalyticsPH, and GeoMapperPH to ensure science-supported, evidence-based, and risk-based physical planning and policy making. Through the Coaching Sessions, OCD and DOST are assisting technical staff of local governments to learn how to use the innovative and collaborative platform.
“This joint initiative of the OCD, DOST, and the World Bank aims to equip and build the resilience of local governments that are at the frontline during disasters, making sure that our communities are safe. GeoRiskPH provides reliable and up-to-date risk information that can help LGUs identify programs, projects, and activities in creating safer and more climate-adaptive communities for everyone,” Usec. Jalad said.
“Typhoon Odette demonstrated the importance of understanding and building resilience to climate risk and natural hazards,” said Marilyn T. Martinez, World Bank Senior Disaster Risk Management Specialist.
“Through our partnership with OCD and DOST, we are developing reforms and policies to address the different issues and challenges of reducing risks, preventing additional risks, and mitigating impacts to our communities.” she added.
Martinez also encouraged the participants to take advantage of the data, tools, and expertise of resource persons during the Coaching Sessions as they review and update their LDRRM plans to help provinces, cities, and municipalities make their DRRM plans more responsive to the needs of their communities.
GeoRiskPH is a multi-agency initiative led by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS), funded by the DOST, and monitored by the Philippine Council for Industry, Energy, and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD) from 2018 to 2020. It is now institutionalized in DOST-PHIVOLCS.
GeoRiskPH is envisioned to be the Philippines’ central source of information for accurate and efficient hazards and risk assessment to help people, communities, LGUs, and national government agencies prepare and plan on reducing risks from natural hazards and increase the nation’s resilience.
“In the future, we envision that more agencies would contribute to constantly update their data in the database system, so that the public and the government agencies may be able to use that information for planning and policy making,” said Undersecretary Renato U. Solidum, Jr of the DOST-PHIVOLCS.
The fourth batch of the Coaching Sessions is scheduled on March 14-16, 2022.
For more information about the Coaching Sessions, the LGUs may contact OCD through email@example.com. (OCD)