Various national agencies and regional offices joined the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) in speeding up the recovery efforts and aligning priorities for rebuilding following the devastation caused by Typhoon Odette in December 2021.
“Late last year, Typhoon Odette struck our country and affected regions MIMAROPA, 6, 7, 8, and 10 with damages so broad that combining support for recovery still seems challenging. However, this does not prevent us from delivering our best service and support that we can. These are the very kinds of scenarios that we have been preparing for,” said Undersecretary Ricardo B. Jalad, National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council Executive Director and Civil Defense Administrator.
“Early last year, in preparation for possible disasters or calamities, the OCD, in partnership with the World Bank, launched the Ready to Rebuild Training Program with the goal to speed up and improve the recovery process of affected areas in the aftermath of a disaster. The training also serves as a guide for the regional government agencies, local government units, and stakeholders in crafting their local rehabilitation and recovery plans,” he added.
To date, the Ready to Rebuild Program for LGUs already had five training batches which were held among a total of 197 provinces, cities, and municipalities from all 17 regions. This translates to 924 governors, mayors, DRRM managers, planning and budget officers, and other technical staff who have improved their capacity to deal with the aftermaths of disasters.
OCD also led the three-day Ready to Rebuild Executive Course on January 12 to 14, 2022 and brought together more than 150 government officials and staff composed of disaster risk reduction and management experts, policy-makers, planners, and implementers across the country.
As a specially designed capacity building program, the Executive Course served as a platform to review the rehabilitation and recovery process and discuss challenges in light of Typhoon Odette through the Ready to Rebuild Program lens. It also gave them the opportunity to share experiences and best practices from different regions when it comes to building back better after calamities.
“Learning from the experience of Typhoon Yolanda, where the Government had to quickly produce a rehabilitation and recovery plan within a tight deadline, and now the same with Typhoon Odette, my key takeaway is that we really need a playbook for key stakeholders to rebuild resiliently and quickly,” said Atty. Lesley Jeanne Y. Cordero, World Bank Senior Disaster Risk Management Specialist.
“We support OCD’s efforts to ensure that national government agencies and local governments are able to prepare for the aftermath of disasters in advance.”
Addressing the Executive Course participants, Cordero also added that it is now their opportunity to maximize the Ready to Rebuild Program as they go through the process of rehabilitation and recovery for the Odette-affected communities.
“I ask you to encourage as many affected provinces, cities, and municipalities as possible to participate in the Ready to Rebuild Program so you can assist them in developing their recovery plans, implementing reconstruction projects, and accessing and leveraging funding sources. These will help affected communities build back better and pursue a green, resilient, and inclusive recovery,” she added.
The 6th batch of the R2R program will be held from February 21 to March 11, 2022. Registration is now open but only with limited slots. Local governments and designated participants are encouraged to register here