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«by: MA. ALETHA A. NOGRA Civil Def fense Offic III cer Office of Civil D e Defense-Departmen of Natio Defen nt onal nse R Republic o the Philippines ...»

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Mandates coming from the national government, particularly Presidential Decree (PD) 1566 (1978) and Republic Act 10121 (2010) inform DRRM initiatives in San Jose. PD 1566 defined the management system for disasters throughout the Philippines from 1978 until 2010 when Republic Act (RA) 10121 was passed into law. DRRM is an ongoing program of the local government unit (LGU) and its approach has evolved from predominantly response and relief to one that gives greater emphasis on disaster preparedness, prevention and mitigation. This is reflective of policy changes happening at the national level and the urgent demand to enhance mechanisms for disaster preparedness. DRRM values proactivity, multi-sectoral participation and community orientation.

Prior to 2010, the town’s Municipal Disaster Coordinating Council (MDCC) had been a vigorous advocate of disaster management, even though its focus was largely on emergency response. It consistently supported communities and groups affected by disasters, and was instrumental in organizing the Barangay Disaster Coordinating Councils (BDCCs) in 28 constituent barangays.

The imminent threat of multiple hazards prompted the LGU to invest in DRRM. As early as 2004, a resolution endorsed by the MDCC and passed by the Sangguniang Bayan (SB) declared the municipality in a State of Imminent Danger. This allowed the MDCC to utilize the Calamity Fund (CF) for pre-disaster activities, like training of barangay officials and volunteers, and information dissemination to vulnerable sectors. It was a groundbreaking move as Calamity Funds then were used customarily for post-disaster response activities.

Tropical Depression (TD) Frank in 2008 further pushed the LGU to improve the systems for disaster preparedness, prevention and mitigation. The experience spurred a reassessment of the LGU’s capabilities, resulting to a modification in the structure of the MDCC (through Executive Order 01 issued by Mayor Rony L. Molina in January 2010) that added the task units of Occupational Safety and Records and Archives Protection. In July of the same year, he issued EO 58 to replace MDCC members who lost during the May 2010 elections. While the MDCC was dynamic and consistently active in providing necessary training and information on disaster management, it was constrained by the prevailing response oriented practice that gave greater weight on emergency response and relief, and inhibited activities for risk reduction and management. Furthermore, the meagre 5% CF allocation posed challenge to efforts for pursuing preparedness, prevention and mitigation agendas.

The passage of RA 10121 in 2010 initiated major changes in the management of disaster risks in San Jose. Foremost, the law was responsible for the organization of the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (MDRRMC), which replaced the MDCC.

This was done through EO 186 signed by Mayor Molina in October 2010. The MDRRMC, or the Council, functioned as the platform for DRRM programming in the municipality. Its creation was predicated by RA 10121 and on the need to strengthen the LGU’s capability for risk reduction as the changing nature and characteristics of hazards overtake reactive disaster management systems that do little to enhance preparedness and alleviate vulnerability. RA 10121 provided for a more liberal budgetary allocation for DRRM through the Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund (LDRRMF) which was no longer limited to the 5% ceiling set by PD 1566. In 2010, PhP 2.5 million was allocated for the LDRRMF. As mandated by law, 30% of this was earmarked for quick response and emergency related concerns and the remaining 70% was set aside for pre-disaster activities and programs. The law was also instrumental in reorienting the previously reactive approach to disasters of the MDCC into the more proactive approach of the MDRRMC. The incumbent Council now has substantial muscle for pre-disaster activities to enhance disaster preparedness and risk reduction capabilities.

The participation of private agencies and non-government organizations (NGOs) in the Council is enlisted in accordance with the mandates of RA 10121. The provisions of RA 729 (Climate Change Act of 2010) are integrated into the plans and programs particularly in the aspect of the disaster mitigation and prevention.

The Council continues to intensify its efforts to bring DRRM to the communities using the Community-Based Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (CBDRRM). CBDRRM enhances the capability of local communities through capability building. This is done together with mobilization and training of municipal and community volunteers. The cultivation of the spirit of volunteerism is one of the badges of success of the Council because it serves as a venue for different stakeholders to work together harmoniously.

Collaboration and convergence are hallmarks of DRRM programming in San Jose. From the multifarious activities that the MDRRMC has carried out since its establishment, four interrelated components can be gleaned leading to an integrated, holistic and sustainable DRRM. These are (1) disaster mitigation and prevention, (2) disaster preparedness, (3) emergency response, and (4) recovery and rehabilitation. At the helm of these activities is the MDRRMO, the implementing arm for DRRM, together with members of the Council including civil society organizations, volunteer groups and community organizations. How the MDRRMC leads in promoting a culture of safety and resiliency in San Jose.

Chamber Volunteer Fire Brigade

As the largest volunteer emergency response organization in the most populous city in Western Visayas, the Bacolod Chamber Volunteer Fire Brigade is in a unique position, both in terms of expectations and achievements, among private/volunteer organizations in the region. The “Brigade”, as it is popularly called, is the service delivery arm Bacolod Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (BFCCCII). Originally conceived in 1970s as a volunteer group to augment the manpower of the local fire department, it became a full-fledged firefighting unit that earned distinction (including a Presidential Citation) and would transition into an accredited organization that offers fire suppression, search and rescue, emergency medical services and community outreach programs.

The Bacolod Chamber Volunteer Fire Brigade’s key strengths as an organization are: 1) Multi-level partnerships and, 2) Well-established disaster response practices and protocols.

While it remains essentially private and voluntary in character, the organization has strong ties with the local community, corporate entities, the City and Provincial Government, national government agencies up to international level. These strong ties are valuable networks of logistics and funding, as well as sources of information, and has enabled the Brigade to grow into a membership of three hundred twenty-eight (328) strong. The organization also had a clearly-defined and recognized role vis-à-vis government agencies with analogous functions (Bureau of Fire, Bacolod City Emergency Response Unit etc.).

By virtue of more than three decades of experience of responding to disasters, the Brigade has established practices and protocols in the conduct of emergency disaster response. The emergency response protocol directs the flow of personnel and resources and ensures that services are delivered in timely, orderly and appropriate manner. Its personnel go through a thorough recruitment and training process. Between 2008 and 2010 alone, the Brigade was able to respond to 205 fire calls, 13 rescue operations and 651 emergency medical and trauma cases. This underscores the importance of the organization’s role in disaster response in Bacolod City and its surrounding areas. However, challenges brought about by climate change necessitate a shift in the role of the Brigade from an organization that is primarily oriented towards response into an organization that is actively involved with the local government and the community in reducing risk and building resiliency.

The Bacolod Chamber Volunteer Fire Brigade was conceived under the slogan of “We Do Care. We Do Share”. The Brigade envisions itself as a pillar in nation-building by promoting the spirit of volunteerism. As an organization, it seeks to become an internationally recognized volunteer organization that: 1) exceeds industry standards in firefighting and rescue; 2) provides timely and technologically advanced pre-hospital care, and 3) engages in wide-scale Medical Outreach Programs and civic works through committed and highly competent volunteers.

Cabasi-Sta. Rosa Elementary School

Cabasi-Sta. Rosa Elementary School (CSRES) in Barangay Sta. Rosa-Laguna, in the Municipality of Guimbal, Province of Iloilo is the country’s Gawad KALASAG’s Best Educational Institution advocating disaster risk reduction management for the years 2010 and 2011.

The school’s critical resources and development efforts to mitigate the potential impact of natural or man-made disasters in the school community are presented in this paper.

Although efforts are primarily schoolchildren-centered and schoolchildren-driven as schools are mandated to ensure the safety and welfare of schoolchildren, benefits to the larger school community can be derived as engagement of parents, barangay officials, the Local Government Unit (LGU) and other stakeholders are elicited. Besides, the school dreams to achieve not only a prepared and resilient school but prepared and resilient neighbouring communities as well as a result of an improved school disaster risk reduction management system.

Apart from the school gym that can be utilized as temporary shelters in any emergency, CSRES has 12 clean, wall-finished, and well-ventilated school buildings with spacious corridors, railings/handrails and ramp. The rooms in these buildings have safe electrical connections as per Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) standard, inspections of which were conducted in 2009 and 2010. Rooms also have toilet and water facilities that are regularly maintained by the school community. The school has five radio cassettes, a mini karaoke, four units of computer and a printer that can be utilized for monitoring, receiving and disseminating vital/critical information (e.g., news, weather updates, supply information) to the school and the CSRES community. Basic health facilities such as two nebulizers, two body temperature and a sphygmomanometer are also utilized and maintained by the school.

CSRES, like any other primary academic institution, has a Parents-Teachers Association (PTA) organized with special committees, namely finance, audit, election, ways and means, grievance and more importantly, external and community affairs which reflect not only a working system but also a consistent effort to work with the people in the community. The CSRES pupil population is increasing throughout the four years with 593 as the highest composed of 518 regular classes, 57 preschoolers and 18 special education class for the school year 2011-2012. The school has 21 faculty and staff that consists of a School Principal, 17 permanent teachers, one male utility worker and two female teachers paid by the national government and local school board. For four school years, school administrators received distinction from the Division of Iloilo as outstanding administrators while CSRES is considered as the most effective non-central school in the division of Iloilo for seven school years, a manifestation of the enthusiasm, confidence and growth of the school community.

Our forbears overcame a myriad of challenges and each time, they arose even more robustly than before. – Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, March 11, 2013 V. Institutionalizing Disaster Risk Reduction in Japan A. Japan Disaster Management System Japan has a long history of dealing with disasters way back 416 August on the occurrence of Yamato-Kochi Earthquake as stated in the first written record of Earthquake in Japan in “Nihonshoki” or the first official history book of Japan, edited in 8th century. Nihonshoki also

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This painting shows that citizens knew that someone was making profit out of tragedy.

The most popular is the story of Ina mura no hi about a Japanese man named Hamaguchi Goryou who saved his villagers in Hiro-mura (currently Hirogawa-cho) from a massive tsunami struck the Kii Peninsula district in 1854 (Ansei 1) after a strong earthquake occurred. The story portrays Goryou who set fire to some ‘inamura’ (rice sheaves) and evacuated the villagers to a high safe place by guiding them using the fire as a landmark. This story is being used to educate the present generation about tsunami.

There is also an earliest record of the Japanese bitter encounter of tsunami in 1896 when the Meiji Sanriku Earthquake occurred which resulted to 22,000 deaths. This experience was also depicted in one of their traditional paintings.

National Disaster Management System Japan is a disaster prone country because of it is located in the circum-Pacific area where seismic and volcanic activities occur constantly. The country experience a wide variety of natural disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, typhoons during the months of July to October, heavy monsoon rains from May to July, floods,

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The progress of disaster management and system in Japan is defined by the bitter experiences from the large scale natural disasters and accidents with loss of lives and immense damage to properties. Countermeasures against any disaster are taken according to the Disaster Countermeasure Basic Act in 1961 and other related disaster according to the Disaster Countermeasure Basic Act in 1961 and other related disaster management laws or basic acts such as Act on Prevention of Marine Pollution and Maritime Disaster (1970), Act on Disaster Prevention in Petroleum Industrial Complexes and other Petroleum Facilities (1975), Act on Special Measures for Large-scale Earthquakes (1978), Act on Special Measures for Nuclear Disasters (1999), Act on Special Measures for Promotion of Tonankai and Nankai Earthquake Disaster Management (2002), Act on Special Measures for Promotion of Disaster Management for Trench-type Earthquakes in the Vicinity of the Japan and Chishima Trenches (2004).

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