Spain vows to beef up PH DRRM capabilities

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Wednesday, March 26, 2014


CLARK FREEPORT -- Spain has asserted its commitment in beefing up the disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM) capabilities of the Philippines.

During the opening of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) Humanitarian Response Depot (HRD) inside this Freeport, Spanish Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo said, "For my country, helping our Filipino brother is a duty. We have always stood behind the Philippines during its great need. Since 2007, Spain has channeled more than 28M Euros in humanitarian aid and DRRM assistance."

"This depot is a symbol of what human solidarity can do. Due to the consequences of climate change, the Philippines have become one of the most vulnerable countries in the world. Typhoon Yolanda was a proof of this. This strongest tropical disturbance proved to us that in today's world, no one can remain indifferent," he added.

The NDRRMC-HRD seeks to improve the emergency preparedness and response competency of the country through the pre-positioning of equipment such as rescue boats, heavy duty generator, diesel generator sets, water pump sets, water sludge pumps, fork lift, chainsaws, demolition jack hammers, rescue spine boards, ropes, hand held radios, portalets, mobile water treatment machines, water bladders, health paraphernalia and tents.

The NDRRMC allotted P1.9 million for the conversion of building 7646 of the 600th Air Base Wing of the Philippine Air Force into a warehouse while AECID -- Spain’s funding agency -- spent P26.4 million for the purchase of the equipment.

Aside from being a storage facility, it also has an operation room and a training room equipped with conference tables and chairs. Five more HRDs shall be built in key areas in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao within the next two years.

Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II, in a message read by Undersecretary Austere Panadero, thanked the Spanish government "for being a reliable partner of our agency in strengthening the response capacities of local government units in Nueva Ecija that were battered by Typhoon Pepeng in 2009. Assistance included awareness raising of risks among communities, improving inter-municipal coordination and delivery of social services including productive livelihood opportunities."

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on March 27, 2014.

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