WITH climate change becoming "the norm" in the future, priorities of developing countries like the Philippines have now shifted toward adapting and becoming resilient with the worst that climate change can bring.

The Office of Civil Defense (OCD) in Northern Mindanao has begun its series of disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM) system summit among mayors, governors and disaster and risk reduction management officers in the region. It started its first leg in Bukidnon province on May 6 and 7.

Today, it is also holding the first day of its two-day summit with participants from Misamis Oriental at a restaurant in the city which will end on June 4, 2014.

The province is known for its flood and landslide prone areas that during the almost two-week heavy rains brought by low-pressure area in January this year, it had undergone massive evacuation due to flooding and landslides that collapsed some bridges rendering roads impassable for several days.

The Philippine which is battered with typhoons every year, was hit by the world’s worst super typhoon in recent memory and the constant tremors that also devastated Bohol in October last year.

This series of summit highlights the roles and responsibilities of the mayors and governors to enhance their capacities on DRRM system to establish more resilient communities amid the imminent threats of disasters due to climate change and those that are man-made.

They are also expected to broaden their knowledge in DRRM planting, tools and protocols as well as share and learn good practices and challenges to community-based DRRM activities.

Ana Cañeda, OCD regional director, in a statement sent to this paper said the disaster summit is vital in the preparation and readiness of the local government units (LGUs) as disasters hit them especially that 33 percent of the local chief executives (LCEs) in the country are newly-elected and 41 of them are in Region 10.

The summit, Cañeda said, is a venue for consultation on the major challenges and gaps in the implementation of DRRM among the LCEs such as the activities to hold, the creation of the local DRRM offices and the signing of declaration on the strengthened commitment on DRRM system among the LGUs.

The declaration would be another highlight in the summit.

The next round of the summit will be held in Camiguin at its convention center on June 10-11; Cagayan de Oro and Misamis Occidental will be held in Cagayan de Oro and Lanao del Norte respectively on June 17-18 and Iligan City will hold its summit also in Lanao del Norte on June 24-25.

The summit is anchored on the theme, “Kaluwasan sa Katawhan, Katungdanan sa Tanan.” (GCA)