October 13, 2017
The International Day for Disaster Reduction is a celebration of efforts to reduce the risks of disaster in communities around the world. This special day also aims to raise awareness about the impact of disaster risk reduction on factors that are vital to sustainable development.
As a country that is naturally vulnerable to disasters due to geographical configuration and socio-economic conditions, the Philippines has put in place several policies that govern disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM) and climate change adaptation (CCA). One of these is the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (PDRRM) Act of 2010, which strengthens the country’s institutional capacity for DRRM and builds the resilience of local communities to disasters including climate change impacts.
The law, having a vital role in developing a more disaster resilient country, was up for review in 2015. Currently, a technical working group formed by the House of Representatives Committee on National Defense and Security is studying bills seeking to amend the PDRRM Act.
With the belief that a more effective disaster reduction policy would put forth sustainable development, the Philippine Legislators’ Committee on Population and Development (PLCPD) hopes that the amendments pushed would be inclusive, addressing the needs of all sectors, especially the needs of women and children and of those who are most susceptible to disasters.
Risk reduction assuages crippling effects of disasters like mortality and morbidity, internal displacement, economic losses, food scarcity, and malnutrition. Fundamentally, it values human dignity by upholding the rights to life and property of all. Thus, committing to making laws such as the PDRRM Law more responsive to the needs of the people is one of the best investments the Philippines can make.