NATIONAL DISASTER RESILIENCE MONTH
IN THE PHILIPPINES
Disaster plays a large role across the communities of the Philippines, with the ASEAN Member State constantly affording significant attention and resources to ensuring its citizens and infrastructure are prepared and resilient to disaster occurrences that frequently impact the nation due to its geographic context. For the entire month of July 2019, the Philippines celebrated its National Disaster Resilience Month (NDRM) that involved numerous events and activities across the nation aimed at increasing awareness and resilience for its people in the face of ongoing natural disaster threats.
The theme for 2019’s celebration was Kahandaan sa Sakuna’t Peligro Para Sa Tunay na Pagbabago – which translates to Disaster Risk and Emergency Preparedness for Genuine Development in the English language – with NDRM kicking off on July 1st through a number of opening events. The Philippines’ National Disaster Management Organisation (NDMO) – the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) – kicked-off the month-long celebration with the launching of its DELSA Satellite Warehouse in Quezon City, an event that will be covered in detail in the next volume of the AHA Centre’s Column publication. For the entire month of July, the Government of the Philippines, institutions, businesses and the general public took part in activities related to disaster resilience, particularly covering the four thematic areas of DRRM –Disaster Prevention and Mitigation, Disaster Preparedness, Disaster Response and Disaster Rehabilitation and Recovery.
A variety of engaging and interesting activities were planned for the whole month, with each of the nation’s numerous regions implementing its own schedule for celebrations and awareness raising within the community. The Municipality of San Jose de Buenavista, through the Antique Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, undertook a ‘caravan’ around San Jose de Buenavista to raise community awareness on the importance of readiness within the landslide and flood-prone region. In San Fernando City, the annual Run for Resilience event was organised. The annual event was formed to offer thanks for the support of the many partners who promote disaster resilience in the community. Schools across the nation will participate in activities such as essay writing, song development and poster creation, with the aim to ensure strong resilience in the next generations of the country’s youth. In Butuan City, officials aim to highlight their Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) Heroes – namely the health care providers in provincial and district hospitals who are at the frontlines providing care during emergencies and disasters.
Disaster response trainings in schools and government offices and in disaster prone areas were held across different locations, that formed the practical aspect of the NDRM in strengthening disaster resilience for people of the Philippines. Other events aimed to strengthen internal and external partnerships on disaster management, through events such as: ceremonial turnover of tents from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF); the launch and implementation of the 2019 Nationwide Simultaneous Hands-Only CPR Campaign; Basic Life Support Training for the DOH Security Personnel, and; a ceremonial signing of the memorandum of agreement with the Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation.
Written by : William Shea | Photo : The Philippines Office of Civil Defense Facebook Page
BOOK REVIEW OPERATIONALISING
ONE ASEAN ONE RESPONSE
Readers of The Column, and those with general knowledge of disaster management in the ASEAN region, should by now be well acquainted with the One ASEAN One Response vision. This vision forms the blueprint for the current and future state of disaster management in ASEAN, driven by the AHA Centre, and strives to develop timely, appropriate and united responses to disaster across the ASEAN region and abroad. One ASEAN One Response is a broad and complex vision, with such breadth and complexity also reflected within its implementation and realisation. Therefore, in early 2018, the AHA Centre developed a book – Operationalising One ASEAN One Response – to form the framework and guidance for the real steps that must be taken to ensure the implementation and realisation of One ASEAN One Response for all stakeholders throughout the ASEAN disaster management sector.
The book begins by tracking back and compiling the context and history of the One ASEAN One Response vision’s development, including the birth of the idea after Typhoon Haiyan, its conceptualisation and promotion, and other steps in its journey until its formalisation through the Declaration on One ASEAN One Response – signed by all ASEAN Member States in 2016. Throughout the early chapters of the book we also learn more about a range of elements, processes and key stakeholders within the One ASEAN One Response movement, allowing for a strong understanding of the mechanisms and parties central to the vision’s real implementation.
With a sound understanding and picture of the One ASEAN One Response context and history, the book then turns to the all-important operationalisation of the vision, capturing the processes, mechanisms and measurements that guide the realisation of a collective regional response for all members of the ASEAN community. The overall goal of One ASEAN One Response is the umbrella under which the operationalisation takes place – namely to increase speed of disaster response, provide to-scale resources for preparedness and response, and do so in solidarity as a strong, united ASEAN region with the common objective of responding to the needs of those affected by disaster. With such a goal identified, the book then identifies the seven key principles of One ASEAN One Response, which ensure that ASEAN responds through singular mechanisms including:
1. ONE POLICY FRAMEWORK – AADMER
2. ONE SOP – SASOP
3. ONE RESPONSE PLAN – AJDRP
4. ONE POLICY BODY – ACDM
5. ONE POINT OF CONTACT – NDMOs
6. ONE REGIONAL COORDINATING AGENCY – AHA Centre
7. ONE FIELD COORDINATION CENTRE – JOCCA
The book then moves on to providing answers regarding key elements of One ASEAN One Response operationalisation, covering nine specific elements that form the entire cycle of disaster management in the ASEAN region. These elements are made up of:
1. Policy guidance
2. Coordination mechanism
4. Information management
5. Operating procedures
6. Response plan
7. Standby assets and capacities
8. Participating actors
9. Exercises and after-action reviews
Finally, the book concludes with an overall roadmap of One ASEAN One Response implementation, including progress indicators that can be used to measure the implementation stages of the vision. Overall, the implementation has four key phases – namely ASEAN 1.0, ASEAN 2.0, ASEAN 3.0 and ASEAN X.0. As highlighted within this roadmap, at time of printing the One ASEAN One Response has already reached, and is working its way through ASEAN 2.0. As the implementation continues, ASEAN 3.0 should see the region able to successfully engage East Asia Summit participating countries within all aspects of response mobilisation, and further into the future, ASEAN X.0 would see ASEAN capable of engaging in responses outside of the ASEAN region itself.
Written by : William Shea | Photo : AHA Centre