IT’S high time that the national government agencies (NGAs) and the local government units (LGUs) should change their paradigm on disaster risks reduction and management.
It should develop a paradigm that empowers and capacitate the people to address and mitigate the impact of disaster risks and climate change.
This means that the practice of LGUs and NGAs of buying and even continuously upgrading their anti-disaster equipment and their DRRMO personnel undertaking rescue operations every time a calamity strikes should be changed.
It’s not only a poor strategy but one that is costly and deprives the communities of their important role in building adaptability and resiliency.
Communities are the first to confront and respond to disasters and calamities, both natural and human induced - and not the officials and experts in the city or town hall.
Knowledge and technology should be in the hands of the communities. They should be taught the effective ways of preventing and managing hazards and disasters, or lessening the impact and cost on human lives and properties.
Among the practitioners and trainers of community-based DRRM, the focus is on teaching and training people to reduce hazards and risks by raising their awareness and capacities, and helping them build their houses and commonly shared places free from, or away from disaster prone areas, like earthquake fault, flood prone and landslide channels, among others.
In agriculture, they can be assisted in climate change adaptive farming systems including technologies, to ensure their food security throughout the year whether there is El Niño or el Nina.
Communities should also be taught of weather patterns, and other hazardous environmental conditions and integrate this is their community and school education.
Renewable energies like solar, wind, hydro, and biomass should also steadily replace coal and other dirty and destructive energy sources.
NGAs and LGUs should invest more on these, than on technologies and equipment, often only the so called experts can understand and use, and they cost so much of taxpayers money.
More than these, LGUs should be capacitated to make their two basic plans, the comprehensive land use plan and the comprehensive development, more responsive to CCA and DRR principles, because these are what decides the economic sustainability and resiliency of the LGU and its people.
Being in the regular path of pacific-based storms and in the rim of fire, there is more reason for the Government down to the barangay to adapt realistic paradigm and strategies.