CSO network pushes for reforms in PHL disaster law

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Nine calls. One agenda. One resilient Philippines.

As the world marked International Day for Disaster Reduction on Thursday, October 13, Disaster Risk Reduction Network Philippines (DRRNetPhils), a network of civil society organizations, pushed for nine key actions to improve the Philippines' disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM) system and strengthen the country’s resilience to disasters.

The nine calls to action are the main messages of the 911 campaign initially launched after the State of the Nation Address of President Rodrigo Duterte. The campaign is now being rolled out at the community level and is called the Barangay 911: Tugon sa Tawag ng Panahon, to amplify the network’s proposals for legislative reforms in the current DRRM law, heighten awareness, and generate support.

“We believe that our work towards resilience should be community-based, inclusive, and empowering but the national government must take the lead in institutionalizing policies that would improve the Philippines’ risk reduction and management system,” said DRRNetPhils lead convenor Malu Fellizar-Cagay.

Barangay 911 represents nine policy calls guided by one agenda: building one resilient Philippines. The campaign seeks to highlight model communities that demonstrate how political will and the involvement of all sectors of society go hand in hand in dealing with disasters.

These are the nine calls:

  1. Establish a National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Authority.
  2. Protect and promote the rights of internally displaced persons (IDPs).
  3. Take immediate action on the recovery and rehabilitation issues in disaster-affected areas.
  4. Increase funding and investments for DRRM particularly for high risk and low-income LGUs.
  5. Ensure functionality of Local DRRM Offices and Councils by intensifying the implementation of inclusive capacity building programs.
  6. Reduce vulnerability of communities to disaster by investing in disaster preparedness, prevention and mitigation, and sustainable livelihoods.
  7. Guarantee inclusive and meaningful participation of civil society organizations at the Local DRRM Councils.
  8. Develop a Magna Carta for DRRM volunteers and workers.
  9. Implement accountability mechanisms to improve the delivery of DRRM services to the community.

The Philippines is consistently ranked as one of the most disaster prone countries in the world.

October 13 marks the International Day for Disaster Reduction – the date designated by the United Nations to promote a culture of disaster reduction around the world.  This year, the theme focuses on reducing deaths due to disasters - the first of the seven targets of the Sendai Framework, which outlines seven global targets and four priorities of action for disaster risk reduction.

"As weather-related disasters become more frequent due to climate change, the Philippines must not lose the momentum in taking urgent steps to reduce and avoid risks by investing in long-term solutions that would prevent the loss of lives during disaster situations,” said Oxfam Country Director Justin Morgan. Oxfam is one of the convenors of DRRNetPhils.

To put the spotlight on the Barangay 911 campaign, disaster risk reduction advocates and practitioners, as well as avid cyclists biked to Barangay Bagong Silangan – one of the areas hit hardest by Typhoon Ondoy (international name: Ketsana) in 2009. Residents shared stories of lessons learned after the typhoon and how they managed to cope after succeeding storms that hit Metro Manila and other parts of the country. 

Notes to editors: 

The event is organized by DRRNetPhils, together with Oxfam, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, the local government of Quezon City and Cycling Advocates (Cycad) Pilipinas. 

DRRNetPhils is a network of civil society organizations (CSOs), people’s organizations (POs), and practitioners advocating for the full implementation of Republic Act 10121 or the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) Act. DRRNetPhils is also one of the civil society organization representatives in the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council promoting community-based disaster risk reduction and management, and providing evidence-based input on the review of the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act (RA 10121).

Contact information: 

Kamille Ruiz
Policy and Communications Officer
Disaster Risk Reduction Network Philippines