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Thursday, March 30, 2023

Government agencies fast track PlanSmart rollout in Caraga region

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY -- Concerned government agencies converged their efforts for the utilization of the PlanSmart, a web-based application to revolutionize the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) planning processes in the country, helping the government to plan ahead for disasters, work smarter, and rebuild faster.

With this development, the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) Caraga, being the chair of the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC) facilitated the conduct of PlanSmart Ready to Rebuild Training Program rollout for Caraga and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), wherein hundreds of individuals from identified local government units, OCD Regional Offices, key officials from BARMM, and national government agencies took part in the said training from March 28 to 30, 2023 at Almont Hotel’s Inland Resort, Butuan City. 

PlanSmart is an initiative of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), in partnership with the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), DOST-PHILVOCS, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), and OCD, with support from the World Bank. 

Dr. Teresito C. Bacolcol, DOST-PHIVOLCS director, elaborated that with this PlanSmart Training, participants are expected to develop the PlanSmart Ready to Rebuild Web Application, a tool that aims to help the LGUs formulate a comprehensive Rehabilitation and Recovery Program (RRP) faster and help them improve decision-making and planning for pre-and-post-disaster events.

"At the end of this training, the LGUs will be able to update their local pre-disaster baseline data; create hazards assessment of LGU-owned administrative boundaries; and develop an automated Rehabilitation and Recovery Plan using PlanSmart," added Dir. Bacolcol.

Regional Director Liza Mazo of OCD-Caraga and RDRRMC chairperson, highlighted that the PlanSmart Ready to Rebuild Training Program demonstrates the value of establishing a science-based data in the local government units' planning and programming; increases the capabilities of the LGUs in gathering and assessing baseline data using GeoriskPH platforms; and enables LGUs to develop risk-informed Rehabilitation and Recovery Program (RRP) faster.

“We are really encouraging our local government units to regularly update, put entries in the web platform to generate comprehensive data, and be able to use it effectively when needed,” Dir. Mazo emphasized.

Meanwhile, Marilyn Tolosa-Martinez, senior disaster risk and management specialist from the World Bank, revealed that the World Bank has been very supportive to the government in its efforts to develop better mechanism and programs that would address various issues and concerns in the region. 

“We have been engaging with the different government agencies and other stakeholders for a particular project that has something to do with DRRM, climate change, and other aspects. Currently, we are also working on a project with the Department of Education (DepEd),” Martinez said. (JPG/PIA-Caraga)