ORMOC CITY, Leyte – Key organizations, led by the Ormoc Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Orcham) inked the A-PAD Philippines Eastern Visayas Regional Platform covenant promoting mutual collaboration and cooperation in disaster risk and reduction management to address the immediate needs of vulnerable people and communities, among others.
The momentous signing of commitment took place at the Ormoc City Hall Lobby, Ormoc City, here on November 16 and was supported by Ormoc City Mayor, Hon. Richard Gomez.
Ormoc, a first class independent component city in the province of Leyte situated in the Eastern Visayas region was placed in the disaster map when Super Typhoon Yolanda with international code name Haiyan expansively damaged the entire community in November 2013.
“The city of Ormoc has been very active in our Disaster Risk Reduction management programs, we’ve been hit by typhoons not just by strongest typhoons ever recorded but by several typhoons and according to the 2017 World Risk Index , the Philippines ranked 3rd in terms of disaster risk for 3 years in a row,” Gomez narrated.
These threats, Gomez continued, need to be addressed to “reduce the risk, prevent the creation of new risk, and provide a safe place for its citizens.
“The effort of working with the private sectors in order to help the community, facing the odds of yet another calamity during the typhoon season of December, we are more confident that we can work much better, more efficient and more resilient than ever before,” Troy Bumagat, A-PAD Eastern Visayas Lead Convenor and Rotary District 3860 Disaster Management Committee Executive Director, stated.
Speaking in behalf of A-PAD Philippines, Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation (PDRF) Executive Director, Veronica Gabaldon re-affirmed the importance of this collaborative effort to strengthen localized response to disasters.
“PDRF and the Citizens’ Disaster Response Center (CDRC) are proud to bring to the country a platform that will bring together the efforts of the various sectors to help communities prepare and recover faster from disaster.”
Leyte Center for Development Executive Director and Citizens Disaster Response Network Chairperson Jasmin Jerusalem underscored the significance of the event as this would translate to a more effective delivery of services for the least privileged communities particularly during the most vulnerable times.
“I want to share the great need for humanitarian aid in disaster preparedness for our Region not only in Leyte but also in Samar. To the local government unit and the government agencies, academe and other partners, I know that you’re stronger together and together we can deliver more effective services to the poor especially those to the remote areas,” Jerusalem said.
The creation of the regional platforms was initiated by Asia Pacific Alliance for Disaster Management (A-PAD) Philippines to enjoin the private sector and organizations to participate in the national platform and support disaster preparedness endeavour.
It aims to create pre-agreement on services and resources with partners, facilitate disaster response, acceptance of disaster relief in the country, capacitate the community, establish appropriate disaster response mechanism and facilitate sharing of experiences and information among others.
Midori Yajima, Program Coordinator, A-PAD Management Office, in behalf of Atsushi Kobayashi of the Embassy of Japan affirmed Japan’s commitment to be part of the country’s continuing effort in building resilient communities.
“Today’s undertaking is part of Japan’s commitment under the 2015 Sendai Cooperation Initiative. With this initiative, Japan is implementing DRR cooperation that effectively combines three approaches. For this purpose, Japan has committed to provide cooperation amounting to four billion US dollars ($4B) and train 40,000 government and local officials to play a lead role in national efforts for disaster risk reduction and post-disaster “Build Back Better” initiatives,” Midori announced.
The 3 approaches that the government of Japan wishes to impart is composed of non-material assistance, such as human resource development and institutional development; material assistance, centering on the development of quality infrastructure and the promotion of global and region-wide cooperation. (A-PAD Phils.)