Sunday, September 26, 2010

Disaster risk reduction, management law signed

MANILA, Philippines - The typhoons that hit the country in recent years have become stronger in intensity and caused far greater damage than past weather disturbances.

The government was hard pressed to answer for last year’s devastation and the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) took the brunt of the blame.

It was acknowledged that a lot has to be done to strengthen the NDCC and to institutionalize disaster risk management at all levels of government in order to better cope with the various calamities that hit the nation year after year.

Last May 27, President Arroyo signed Republic Act 10121 or the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010, which would reorganize the NDCC, among other things.

“This Act provides for the development of policies and plans and the implementation of actions and measures pertaining to all aspects of disaster risk reduction and management, including good governance, risk assessment and early warning, knowledge building and awareness raising, reducing underlying risk factors, and preparedness for effective response and early recovery,” according to the law.

The NDCC will now be called the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRMC), empowered with policy-making, coordination, integration, supervision, monitoring and evaluation. Among the functions of the NDRMC are the development of a national disaster risk reduction and management framework, which shall provide for comprehensive, all-hazards, multi-sectoral, inter-agency and community-based approach to disaster risk reduction and management.

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