PRIOR to this writing are my two consecutive articles on looking for the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) Platforms from those who are aspiring for a government position in the locality. Did your chosen politician win?
For those who have someone inclined in DRRM in the rosters of their new public officials, it’s time to plan. As a member of the community, you may start by looking for the things that these officials could help you on, or your neighborhood (aside from infrastructures yet). Since their work shall start on July, maximize the time to go out and learn about the hazards in your place so you could tell them about it in time. Or reassess the status of your community and its needs when it comes to disasters. I know, you are thinking about ripraps, canals, and similar infrastructure. Nah, leave those to the engineers. Think of something broader that only DRRM can solve.
Are you aware that the average earthquake that happens in the Philippines in a day is 26? Yes. Why? How? Where? When? Oh, I’m not saying that DRRM can stop those earthquakes. I just want to inform you. Because this information can save your life. DRRM is always based on what we know. Now that you know about those 26 earthquakes, you should be expecting to feel one, in a day. And when there is one that happens, you should know now what are you supposed to do. Or do you? If not, you need to learn the Basics of the DRRM. Reach out to your DRRM oriented official and ask for those trainings.
There’s a lot more that you can ask for. More Example? Relief goods for instance. Were the relief goods properly distributed the last time around? If not, perhaps there is a need to fix the so called-relief distribution mechanism in your locality. Ask your DRRM official about it, and he would gladly help.
These are just some of the many possible programs that your DRRM official can help you with. I would be discussing a lot more in this same column in the next issues.
Meanwhile, what happens now if no DRRM inclined official has made it to the rosters of winners? Well, it’s more of a challenge, actually. While you have a DRRM Officer to work for it, he needs to do it on full efforts. That means, your DRRM officer must orient and convince the elected officials first and hopefully, would agree that DRRM efforts will be given importance as well in his administration’s programs. Again, DRRM efforts are dependent to your elected officials’ priorities and platforms. Most of the DRRM officers, if not all, have experienced change in administrations already, and would agree to this. It affects the goals and objectives of the Local Government’s DRRM Plans.
I have read an alleged senator-elect’s statement on his first plan when seated in the senate. He said, he wants to attend a seminar or training first, on his first day, on what to do in the senate, which I think is the best plan for the newly elected ones. I hope our elected local officials would do the same too, in your locality, and choose to learn more of the DRRM concepts and its importance.
But, whether they are inclined to DRRM or not, we need to help them too by helping ourselves. Knowing your hazards in your place and doing preventive measures for it, is a big head start in making yourself disaster ready. Your DRRM Council shall follow it through. Let’s continue aiming for a disaster resilient community, whatever it takes.