2.10.2015

Sunday, February 8, 2015

DepEd supports PIA Caraga’s mobile app

By Jolanie E. Bucad

BUTUAN CITY, Feb. 8 (PIA) – In support to the new platform that the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Caraga region has introduced to the public – the PIA Caraga Mobile App,  the Department of Education (DepEd) Caraga region has issued a directive to all schools division superintendents (SDS) encouraging to adopt the said platform.

DepEd officer-in-charge Dr. Rebecca V. Delapuz ordered all SDS in the region to encourage all teachers, staff, and even students to download said mobile app of the PIA.

“The mobile app will provide us real-time access to news, weather forecasts, and other relevant updates about the region,” Dr. Delapuz said.

Delapuz also told her SDS that the mobile app will also include tips that will help us informed on the information related to disasters.

PIA’s mobile app is now downloadable in both android and iOS phones, tablets, and ipads for free. (DepEd Butuan City Division/PIA-Agusan del Norte)


SURGE calls for inclusiveness in DRR law sunset review, OCD leads RA 10121 sunset review

BUTUAN CITY, Feb. 8 - Scaling Up Resilience in Governance (SURGE) reiterates anew the need for inclusiveness in all aspects of disaster risk reduction (DRR). The call coincides with the ongoing sunset review or the mandatory review of Republic Act 10121, otherwise known as the Disaster Risk Reduction Management Act of 2010 after five years.  

“Since 2010, typhoons and other natural disasters have been a litmus test on the law’s relevance. This is especially so among the poor and many others who have been rendered vulnerable. While there is a marked improvement on preparedness among some local government units (LGUs), there are still inconsistent and in some places, sub-standard results in addressing the specific needs of the more marginalized groups such as women and girls,” Nina Somera of Oxfam asserted. In an Oxfam post-typhoon Yolanda analysis, it appears that as girls and boys have been forced to become adults, there have also been more pregnancies.

Meanwhile, as typhoon Ruby passed through Caraga and other parts of the Philippines, many people voluntarily headed to designated evacuation centers. However, this highlighted another concern as the capacity of some evacuation centers was not able to match an increase of the population. Some also lacked appropriate water and sanitation facilities.

RA 10121 mandates LGUs to develop DRRM plans, establish DRRM offices and tap DRRM funds. It also provides for the coordinating mechanisms between and among LGUs, and science-based institutions. However, the implementation of the law does not always address the specific needs of sectors which most badly affected by disasters. Many evacuation centres have limited water and sanitation services which are quite critical for women and girls. Not early warning systems can be used by persons with disabilities. The absence of a disaggregated data means that some cash for work initiatives may be missing those most in need. Some DRR plans and budgets are also not inclusive as marginalized individuals and communities were not consulted.

“Communities in Caraga have benefitted from the participatory vulnerabilities and capacities assessment (PCVA) tools and methods, which identifies the sources of insecurities and resilience especially of marginalized individuals and communities.   However these can only be effective when there is sufficient ownership and support, including funds from LGUs and when initiatives are sustained over a long-term period,” Esteban Masagca of the People’s Disaster Risk Reduction Network (PDRRN) shared.

PCVA maps the vulnerabilities and capacities of individuals and communities. It locates women, children, elderly, persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples and other marginalized groups, with details such as their occupation, educational attainment and the roles they typically play. It is the basis of contingency plans and the broader development plans of LGUs.  

Together with the Peoples Disaster Risk Reduction Network (PDRRN) and the Center for Disaster Preparedness (CDP), SURGE organized a workshop from February 5-6, 2015, with the aim of identifying changes which would advance the mainstreaming of inclusive community-based disaster risk reduction (ICBDRR) within the law. The workshop was also a platform to strengthen a civil society position for the upcoming 3rd World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (WCDRR) March 2015 in Sendai, Japan.

“A public consultation on RA10121 will not only raise awareness on the rights of everyone to have the wherewithal to survive and recover from disasters in the Philippines. It can also strengthen the country’s position in influencing international DRR frameworks and actions. At the same time, should the WCDRR proved to be substantive, then it can also force the Philippine government to ensure inclusiveness in the implementation of RA10121,” Malu Fellizar Cagay of CDP explained.

For her part, Office of Civil Defense (OCD) Caraga regional director Liza Mazo shared SURGE’s call for inclusiveness during the sunset review. “The sunset review is a chance to have all the voices, especially those who bear the brunt of disasters. We commend SURGE and its partners for reaching out to marginalised groups and extending the opportunities to meaningful participation. This is one of the first steps in advancing ICBDRR and influencing the law in the most positive way,” she said.

SURGE is a consortium composed of Christian Aid, Handicap International, Oxfam and Plan International.  It aims to build and increase the resilience of high-risk communities by promoting inclusive community-based disaster risk reduction (ICBDRR) practices and taking the learning to other communities in the Philippines. SURGE also lobbies for improvements in disaster risk management policies and practices by using evidence from experience. SURGE is supported by the European Union humanitarian aid. (Oxfam/PDRRN/PIA-Caraga)