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