MANILA — Over the past several years, the Philippines has had to contend with almost all forms of disasters, both natural and man-made, said Senator Panfilo Lacson.
A 2018 World Risk Report claims the Philippines ranks third among all the countries with the highest risks worldwide.
At least 60% of the country’s total land area is exposed to multiple hazards and 74% of the population is susceptible to their impact.
“Having said that, the Filipino people found hope almost 10 years ago with the passage of RA 10121 or the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010, which established the policies, structures, coordination mechanisms and programs, along with the continuing budget appropriation on DRRM from national to local levels. Simply put, this law shifted our DRRM practices from reactive emergency and disaster response and management to pro-active disaster risk reduction and management,” Lacson said.
Since RA 10121 was enacted into law, its implementation has been tested a lot of times by a number of natural and man-made disasters that disrupted and claimed lives and properties of the Filipinos.
Typhoon Pablo in 2012; Typhoon Yolanda or Haiyan in 2013; Zamboanga Siege and Marawi Siege in 2013 and 2017; the recent Mindanao earthquakes; and only last Jan. 12, successive eruptions of Taal Volcano, to name a few, he said.
“Looking back at our overall policy on disaster risk reduction and management, we understand that the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council is headed by the Secretary of National Defense as Chairperson with the following Secretaries as the Chairpersons for four distinct yet mutually reinforcing thematic areas, namely: Secretary of DOST for disaster prevention and mitigation; Secretary of DILG for disaster preparedness; Secretary of DSWD for disaster response; and Secretary of NEDA for disaster rehabilitation and recovery, which all gear towards a single vision: safer, adaptive and disaster resilient Filipino communities towards sustainable development,” said Lacson.
He said the government has a framework that has been lauded and recognized by international organizations and institutions, including the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction and global Non-Government Organizations (NGOs), as a model for its DRR leadership and for its multi-stakeholder cooperation. (Stacy Ang/IAMIGO/CPH)