(March 24, 2021)
Recognizing the crucial role of local government units (LGUs) as frontliners in tackling disaster rehabilitation and recovery, the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) continues to urge LGUs to join the recently launched Ready to Rebuild (R2R): Disaster Rehabilitation and Recovery Program.
The first batch of R2R trainees will begin training in April 2021, with the next three batches scheduled in June, August, and September. The sessions will run every afternoon of Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
The participants are expected to develop Local Pre-Disaster Baseline Data which are the needed information for evidence-based disaster recovery; Local Disaster Risk Financing Strategy which will guide the financing of disaster recovery; and a Draft Local Rehabilitation and Recovery Program that LGUs can update to address the impact of disasters. R2R is open for local chief executives, planning officers, DRRM officers, budget officers and other technical staff from the provinces, cities, and municipalities. Technical staff from relevant government agencies are also encouraged to participate. “This program will equip the participants with much-needed information in disaster rehabilitation and recovery planning and in the preparation of a program based on the possible impact of any future disasters,” said Civil Defense Administrator, Undersecretary Ricardo Jalad during the launch.
Usec. Jalad explained that the OCD, as the implementing arm of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), and with the support of the World Bank, is committed to build the capacity of at least 100 LGUs and more than 500 technical staff in rehabilitation and recovery planning by the end of 2021.
“This will refresh and refine the LGUs’ understanding of key disaster risk reduction and management concepts, with emphasis on post-disaster rehabilitation and recovery,” he added.
“R2R has three key elements and the first one is something I clamored for, for a long time now. At long last, national and local disaster baseline data will be gathered and used to create our local recovery programs and risk financing strategies. As we are aware, how we bounce back will only be as good as the data that we start out with,” Ormoc City Rep. Lucy Torres-Gomez emphasized during the launch. “Our experience from Typhoon Yolanda, COVID-19, and the recent disasters taught us that it is not the national government who has boots on the ground to start the recovery and rehabilitation efforts. It is the local governments who are at the frontlines,” shared World Bank Senior Disaster Risk Management Specialist Attorney Lesley Cordero.
“If we are able to find a way to empower them, support them, and work with them to recover quickly, then it is a win.” she added.
Atty. Cordero also emphasized that apart from building the capacities of agencies and LGUs, the Program also aims to change mindsets and build a culture of preparedness—to help communities and LGUs anticipate the impacts of disasters and prepare recovery plans even before disasters hit.
“The World Bank is committed to supporting government efforts, such as R2R, which is a platform to train communities to be more prepared and resilient so they can respond and recover from disasters faster and better,” Atty. Cordero added.
R2R is a joint program of the NDRRMC-OCD and the World Bank, with support from the Government of Japan and the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery.