Sunday, June 12, 2011

Philippine town's disaster management plan lauded by international NGO

BenCyrus G. Ellorin in the Minda News (Philippines): The Comprehensive Disaster Risk Management (DRM) Plan of Esperanza town, the first among local government units nationwide, is a “laudable initiative and truly one of the first around the world,” Barbara Stocking, chief executive officer of Oxfam Great Britain Chief said.

Stocking, who oversees the operation of Oxfam in 60 countries, said that in a world faced with climate change, it is important for local governments to have proactive action on disaster risk management and climate change adaptation.

Esperanza Mayor Leonida P. Manpatilan said they made the DRM Plan an urgent task as the town is situated right in the Agusan Marsh and by the mighty Agusan River. The mayor said they started crafting the plan even before the passage of Republic Act 10121 or the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010. Manpatilan handed a copy of their Comprehensive DRM Plan to Stockings and Oxfam Hong Kong Director John Sayer in a visit here Wednesday.

Oxfam and the Kasanyagan Rural Development Foundation, Inc. (KRDFI) had assisted the municipality in DRM planning and in equipping grassroots communities with disaster risk reduction management by organizing Resiliency Learning Groups or RLGs.

RLGs are organized in all barangays with emphasis on women participation. The DRM plan also makes the municipal budget climate change- and disaster- resilient. At least 5% of their budget is appropriated for disaster risk mitigation and response. Esperanza town is considered highly vulnerable to climate change impacts and high disaster risk….

The drainage area of the Agusan River in Caraga region, Mindanao, Philippines. Rendering by Kleomarlo

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