Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Makati Boosts Resiliency Against Disasters

..MANILA, Philippines - Targeting its communities to be disaster-resilient, the Makati City government has created a Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (DRRMO) that will strengthen the city's ongoing advocacy for resiliency against all forms of hazards and disasters, whether natural or human-induced.

Mayor Jejomar Erwin S. Binay said this came about with the recent passage by the City Council of City Ordinance No. 2012-037 creating the said office.

"The city government has prioritized the creation of the Makati Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office to better ensure that our ongoing initiatives and future programs will constitute a holistic approach in managing and mitigating the impact of natural and human-induced hazards and disasters on the city and its stakeholders," Binay said.

Under the ordinance, the DRRMO mandate includes the establishment of community-based volunteer and rescue groups and strengthening of existing teams; raising public awareness and involvement of all sectors; networking and partnership with stakeholders in Makati and other LGUs; and integrating gender and vulnerable group-sensitive strategies during disasters.

Binay said an initial budget of P5 million has been approved for operational expenses, to be taken from the General Fund. The DRRMO will consist of a Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Officer, DRRM Administration and Training Officer, DRRM Research and Planning Officer, DRRM Operations and Warning Officer, and other personnel who could provide the needed services. Also, the Makati Command, Control and Communication Center (Makati C3) and Makati Rescue will be integrated under the Makati DRRM Office.

The mayor said beyond attaining a high degree of resiliency, Makati aims to continue sharing its best practices with other localities in the country and abroad through knowledge and technology transfer, and is ready to send its rescue teams to assist in actual search and rescue operations in disaster-stricken areas.

"We are truly glad that our efforts have been recognized even by the international community. We intend to remain at the forefront of this global advocacy as campaign champion for making cities resilient," Binay said.

Makati was recognized by the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction as "Role Model City" and "Campaign Champion for Making Cities Resilient" in May 2011, and as one of "East Asia's Climate Resilient Cities" by the World Bank (WB) in 2008.

DRRM experts were also impressed with the disaster resiliency and emergency management initiatives of Makati during the recent city-to-city sharing initiative study visit and residency training hosted by the city under the WB-funded Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR). Delegates from Quito, Ecuador and Kathmandu, Nepal joined their counterparts from Makati during the visit and training.