Building National and Community Resilience – Part 2

Resilient.PH’s second installment of its public forum Building National and Community Resilience drew in participants from across the country and across different public and private institutions involved in disaster risk reduction and management. Jumping off from the recap of part 1, the forum opened with a compelling talk from Dr. Mahar Lagmay of the University of the Philippines Resilience Institute who explained some information about the development of House Bill 5989 – the Disaster Resilience Act. He expounded on two critical items that need to be incorporated into the future law. 

  1. Probabilistic Hazard or Risk Assessment
  2. Open Data

Dr. Lagmay explained that the current bill does mention probabilistic risk assessment following the Climate Risk Framework, but that this still needs to be fleshed out in order to emphasize the need to transform the way we prepare for natural disasters especially those driven by climate change. 

On the second point, he shared that while it was part of the original draft, it was taken out in the approved version. As it stands, open data is only mentioned in the glossary of terms. In explaining this very important point, he told participants that without open data from credible experts, communities and the private sector will not be able to fully prepare for impending disasters just like what happened recently with Typhoon Ulysses. 

Former Undersecretary and lead of the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) Alex Pama, followed up with three observations of the current bill:

  1. The policy declaration did not mention rehabilitation and recovery.
  2. The bill was unevenly focused on natural hazards.
  3. The role of the private sector was not clearly stated and defined. 

Former Usec. Pama also pointed out that from the title itself, it appears that the focus is more on creating the department and not on strengthening the actual systems that build community and national resilience.

After the passionate sharing from the distinguished guest resource speakers, the forum ended with the promise to continue the discussions on the need to build national and community resilience together.

Join the continuing conversation on Friday, 27 November 2020.
Register here: