LOCAL governments in the provinces of Batangas and Negros Occidental, and Davao City will be covered by the second phase of a disaster management enhancement program supported by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
In a statement on Tuesday, JICA said it recently met with the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) to start stage 2 of the Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and Management Capacity Enhancement Project.
“Our cooperation with the Philippines aims to elevate disaster resiliency starting from the local government level,” said Yanagiuchi Masanari, senior representative of JICA Philippines.
“While monitoring remains a challenge, the cooperation between OCD and other related agencies in harmonizing guidelines on the formulation of DRR plans is equally important in order to promote proper disaster planning for local government units,” he said.
The first phase of the program intended to boost the Philippines’ disaster resiliency against climate change involved the development of guidelines on using hazard information and risk assessment, and disaster plans based on disaster risk information were developed.
Monitoring and evaluation, and capacity development were rolled out in selected local governments in Laguna and Bohol.
JICA said the cooperation with OCD localizes the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 adopted by United Nations member countries, which highlights the critical role of local governments in disaster management.
“We are already seeing the harsh impact of climate change through the intensity of natural disasters, such as increasing human casualties and economic losses. It’s therefore becoming more important to ensure that local government units are able to incorporate the risks and right information in disaster planning since they are in the frontlines when disasters happen,” Mr. Yanagiuchi said.
Philippine government data show that the country’s economic losses from natural disasters reached P463 billion from 2010-2019. — Marifi S. Jara