• UN urges more investments on disaster risk management


    UNITED Nations (UN) Special Rep. Margareta Wahlstrom for Disaster Risk Reduction called on government to increase its investments and efforts towards disaster risk management in view of climate change, which she calls a disaster itself.

    Speaking at the Department of Science and Technology’s Roadmap on Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction Presentation in Quezon City on Friday, Wahlstrom asked the concerned government agencies to “help us understand where we will be 40 years from now in terms of disaster management.”

    “We should bring disaster focus from national to local levels” as she aimed to encourage government agencies to change the paradigm of disasters and be more certain planning for disaster management.

    Wahlstrom said that nature and human aspirations should meet up to succeed in creating a long-term plan of action and not just an immediate 6-month plan. She encourages all government agencies concern in aiming to change the paradigm of disasters and be more certain in planning about disaster management.

    Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Mario Montejo said the department is working with Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) to strengthen housing and infrastructure that can withstand stronger future disasters.

    DOST-Project Noah presented a plan to adapt agricultural planning to educate farmers on when, where and what to plant so that further damage on agricultural products will be avoided.

    Montejo also showed a scenario-based predictive damage assessment plan that will focus on land use, water resources, biodiversity, health, nature and humane society. The said plan is an early warning to educate people about possible scenarios that might happen to their community during disasters.

    The DOST said that Disaster Management appreciation should be brought down to family level. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Philvolcs) and Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) have collaborated with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to construct a self-assertion checklist available for every household to know if their homes are safe in case of storms and tsunami.

    State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) are also taught on how to use Disaster management softwares and apply them to the community level.

    Meanwhile, public information should also be brought down to the community said DOST Assistant Secretary Raymund Liboro. “Aggressive information push would embark on the nationwide campaign to increase local risk knowledge, monitor the actions of LGUs, and test these knowledge to practical use,” Liboro added.

    He also said that the government would further build responses from the community based on the effect of information dissemination. Scenario-driven forecasts will also be expected upon the start of the said nationwide information campaign, he added.

    The nationwide campaign will start its first leg in Oxford Hotel, Clark, Pampanga on March 3for two and a half months.


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