Name: Rivera, Rosalynd L.
Student No.: 2012- 78908
August 8, 2013
National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Plan: Disaster Preparedness
According to the Word Disaster Report of 2012, The Philippines ranks third of the most disaster-prone countries. Because it is situated on a geologically unstable region and is surrounded by many subduction zones that may cause earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, landslides, typhoon and tsunamis, it is impossible to stop natural disasters from hitting our country; all we can do is to manage risks.
The National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Plan is established to become the basis of programs and proposals to help make the communities be disaster resilient and has four areas of responsibility that are interlinked, supporting each other. One of these key priorities of the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Plan is disaster preparedness. It aims to increase the level of awareness of the communities to the threats and impacts of all hazards and risks, to equip the community with necessary skills to cope with the negative effects and to increase capacity of institutions.
One of the main goals of disaster preparedness is to increase the level of awareness of the communities to the threats and impacts of all hazards and risks. This is due to some Filipino’s lack of knowledge about the geographical situation of the country and that probably, only a few knows the reasons why the Philippines gets hit by natural disasters very often. Some families may live in a geologically unstable location or near a water body that might be hit by natural hazards any time, but how do they know? Unless somebody is going to disseminate information regarding the threats and risks, Filipinos will continue to know nothing about how can these affect their lives.
When the people’s level of awareness is increased, they will be more prepared; they will know how to reduce the risks and how to react during calamities. The Philippine Information Agency together with its implementing partners, AFP, CHED, DEPED, DOH, PAGASA, and PHIVOLCS develops and implements Information, Education and Communication campaigns and programs both locally and nationwide. For example, the Bagyo,Lindol, Tsunami, and Baha or the BLTB Project of DOST-PAGASA, a part of
PAGASA’s greater campaign against natural disasters which aims to “do away with the technical side of natural hazards and instead provide the public with clearer, more simplified explanations so they will have a stronger grasp of these calamities and be better prepared” was launched on July 23, 2013 partly in an animated audio-visual presentation. This way, people will easily understand these calamities thus letting them be more prepared when disasters strike.
To help strengthen the disaster preparedness of the society, the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Plan also aims to equip the communities with necessary skills and capability to cope with the impacts of the disaster. This serves as the second step towards the effective disaster preparedness because information dissemination is not enough. Filipinos need to be trained for them to know what proper measures are to be undertaken before, during and after a calamity. Through the coordination of Department of Interior and Local Government, the Office of Civil Defense and other government agencies like the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Department of Education, Department of Health, Department of Social Welfare and Development and Philippine National Police, various activities and programs such as, trainings and simulation exercises in disaster preparedness and response, integration of DRRM and Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) to school curricula and establishment of DRRM training institutes to conduct education, training, research and publication programs were developed and implemented to accomplish the target outputs.
For example, in eastern Visayas, the principles of disaster preparedness are now fully included in the curriculum of secondary and tertiary levels and in addition, other approaches like the preparation of modules in disaster preparedness used in Alternative Learning System (ALS) and the expansion of the focus of the Citizen Army training (CAT) for high school seniors on civic work, community service and law enforcement training are also undertaken. As a part of this program, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, releases guides on earthquake preparedness to reduce the impacts.
Lastly, the disaster preparedness program of the DRRMP also identified the increase of capacity of institutions as one of its priorities. The support of government and non-government sectors are necessary to equip the community with essential skills to cope with the effects of a disaster so that people will have emotional stability, too. The Department of Interior and Local Government through the help of other government agencies leads actions such as: accreditation of Non-Government Organizations, development of local DRRM plan, administration of risk assessments, contingency planning, knowledge management and training activities, inventory of resources, stockpiling and prepositioning of resources and establishment of DRRM Operations Center to ensure self-reliant and operational DRRM councils and fully-functioning, adequately staffed and financially capable local DRRM offices. In the present, the local government collaborates with NGOs for better implementation of disaster management and preparedness programs, these organizations engage more in advocacy and legal support for populations facing increased risk because of development projects and environmental destruction.
In conclusion, the disaster preparedness priority area of the NDRRMP offers strategic actions that help people to improve their awareness and understanding through information dissemination, contingency planning, and conduct of drills and development of natural disaster management plans. However, to ensure these services and operations, the other three key priority areas must be properly handled too because they work as a whole. Revisions on the NDRRMP are to be made depending on the observations of concerned sectors to achieve the goals in the most effective way. The Philippines have very good established disaster preparedness plans and in fact, it is considered as one of the well-prepared countries when it comes to natural disasters. The goals and activities presented above are very important because not only properties but lives will be destroyed if people will neglect disaster preparedness and it also show that both authorities and the community must actively participate for these plans to work and for the people to attain better security.