Legaspi City, Albay. November 23-27, 2015. DISOP Philippines continuously strengthen the capacity of its partner-NGOs in the implementation of their respective projects. Just recently, a DRR-CCA training was conducted in Legazpi City, Albay which was an answer to the needs of the partners based on the TNA survey. The training was not new to them though because some of them were already involved and implemented several DRR activities. The training however deepened their understanding not only about DRR-CCA per se but also on the legal basis of DRRM. It also taught them how to facilitate a community-based, participatory and responsive approach to DRRM-CCA planning in places where they are implementing their projects. Specifically, the 3-day training comprehensively tackled the following objectives:
- Draw-out ideas from the experiences and best practices of the partners on DRR-CCA;
- Know more about DRR-CCA through lecture and input to clarify terms and concepts;
- Learn “how to facilitate a DRRM planning” especially at the community level involving several stakeholders; and
- Learn more or identify climate change adaptation and mitigation practices.
Thirty-three (33) delegates from 10 current partners of DISOP attended the activity. Two representatives came from Heifer International-Philippines. One participant came from the Mindanao Humanitarian Action Network against Disaster (MiHANDS), a partner of Entraide et Fraternite (EF) who is also one of the Belgian actors operating in the Philippines. The training was facilitated by Dr. Sharon Taylor, PRRM-CBIS Assistant Director and Dr. Cedric Daep of the Albay Public Safety Emergency Management Office (APSEMO). A field visit or community interaction was also conducted to expose the partners in the real world of constituting the Barangay DRRM Council and how it works. The visit was done in Barangay Oro Site, Legazpi City, Albay.
During the training, five presenters shared their experiences on DRRM-CCA. Common to the five presentations was on preparedness, emergency response and contingency planning. Another commonalities were the DRRM trainings and the knowledge management which is not just seminar but where you get it and how you disseminate the information. After the presentation, the following observations and learnings had transpired in the open forum, to wit:
- DRR training must be in close coordination with the LGUs and other government agencies to avoid duplication, prevent confusion and inconsistencies of the government mandates;
- All components of DRR should include education;
- At the barangay level DRR preparedness, organize only the seven committees that are necessary (warning, communication, evacuation, transportation, security, health/medical and relief committees). Keep things very simple…don’t complicate.
- In coastal areas, apply developmental work during preparedness—teach the fishermen how to rescue or keep their boats from disaster.
- Hazard map is very important because it is the basis for generating risk map. The risk map should properly identify high, medium and low risks because it becomes the basis in the recovery and rehabilitation;
- In terms of housing, “cuatro aguas” roofing design is ideal. One of the corner of the roof should be facing the Northeast or Southwest because normally the strength of the typhoon is coming from the Northeast.
- PAG-ASA forecasts only the wind direction and where it goes, it does not calculate the water/rainfall that the typhoon brings;
Some of the highlights and learnings of the training were the following:
- A comprehensive understanding of the DRRM Act (Republic Act 10121) which is a new approved law that repeals PD No. 1566. Under RA 10121, the approach has changed to a bottom-up and participatory approach towards disaster risk reduction.
- RA 10121 adopts and adheres to the principles and strategies consistent with the international standards set by the Hyogo Framework of Action (HFA) as its basis.
- RA 10121 mandates the inclusion of DRR and Climate change budget in the local budget or in the annual development/investment plan of the LGUs.
- LGUs are also mandated to create by way of an Executive Order or a Resolution the reconstitution of the LDRRMC which should include the accreditation of CSOs or NGOs in the locality.
- A comprehensive orientation to the community-based approach to DRRM. That it should be participatory, responsive, integrated, proactive, comprehensive, multi-sectoral, multi-disciplinary, empowering and developmental.
- Everyone knew that the earth is warming and will be warmer in the years to come. What we need to understand is that with the kind of changes around us, how does it affects us and how do we mitigate it.
- That funds for DRRM activities are available but we need to be consistent with the laws and policies of the government to access that funds.
- Paramount importance of preparedness and mitigation.
- Importance of existing and lacking data, work on what is available during planning.
- Importance of coordination, leadership and governance during implementation.
- Global warming, climate science, conduct of simulation is very important.
The training also broadly discussed the processes involved in community-based risk assessment and the various tools to use during assessment. In addition, the speakers also tackled the discussion about contingency planning-its elements, processes and cycles. In here, participants learned that for each catastrophe, a corresponding contingency plan should be made. Besides, when formulating a contingency plan, always plan for the worst scenario and the plausibility or probability of each scenario should be communicated to other offices to assess the urgency and preparedness actions.
To concretize the discussion on DRRM-CCA, the participants went for a community visit at 1) Barangay Oro Site, Legazpi City, Albay; 2) at the Albay Public Safety Emergency Management Office (APSEMO) and 3) at the relocation site in Barangay 56, Taysan, Legazpi City, Albay where 6,000 families were relocated. The group also had the chance to visit two (2) of the 6 evacuation centers constructed in 2013 with grant assistance from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
Aside from the inputs of the speakers, several reference materials in electronic copies and some on hard copies were also given to the participants. These materials will eventually guide the NGOs in formulating an integrated and participatory approach in DRRM planning.
- Layman’s term of conducting a DRR training…to make it simple, practical and understandable to the beneficiaries or communities.
- Documentation of useful indigenous knowledge as an important part in preparedness and early warning device.
- Communication and communication protocol as a very important element in DRR.
- Using appropriate language and proper description of terms in weather forecasting (i.e. storm surge as tsunami-like so that people understands well thus appropriate actions will be taken)
- In preparedness and contingency planning, always prepare or expect for the worst scenario to happen.
- In disaster, knowledge management is very important…where to get the exact and correct information and how will you put it into use.
- In recovery after disaster, bring cash, not goods.
Prior to the conclusion of the training, the partners discussed and level-off about the indicator (OVI) in the Specific Objective regarding the integration of natural resources plan in the barangay local development plan. The partners agreed that once a resolution is passed to the LGU regarding any NRM plan, it is already considered integration in the local development plan. It is however much better if budget appropriations from the LGU is made once the plan is adopted.
The training ended with the distribution of certificates of attendance to the participants.