New NDRRMC chief: Disaster preparedness everybody’s responsibility

Lou Gepuela

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New NDRRMC chief: Disaster preparedness everybody’s responsibility
NDRRMC executive director Undersecretary Ricardo Jalad's first day in office coincides with first day of the National Disaster Consciousness Month

MANILA, Philippines – What better way to start as the new chief of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) than launching disaster preparedness activities?

On his first day at work, newly appointed NDRRMC executive director Undersecretary Ricardo Jalad, opened the National Disaster Consciousness Month (NDCM).

Held every July, NDCM activities such as mangrove planting, disaster planning workshops, and community drills, are timely preparedness efforts as the country enters the typhoon season.

The mandated observance aims to increase the awareness of Filipinos on natural and man-made disasters. It also hopes to ensure that Filipinos have a better appreciation of the disaster preparedness programs of the government. (READ: TIMELINE: PH policies on climate change and disaster management)

The Office of Civil Defense, in coordination with its regional offices, provincial and local disaster management councils, is the lead agency for this undertaking.

READY. Representatives from several response agencies gather to prepare for Typhoon Chedeng in 2015. Photo from OCD-RDRRMC of Region V

Under Republic Act 10121, its mission is to providing leadership in the development of strategic and systematic approaches, and measures to reduce the nation’s vulnerabilities and risks to hazards, and manage the consequences of disasters.

(To see what the regional offices of the Office of Civil Defense have in store for National Disaster Consciousness Month, look here)

Individual and community responsibility

Under Republic Act 10121, the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010, it is the local government units, particularly the barangays, that take the lead in disaster risk reduction, as well as disaster management and response. (READ: The role of LGUs, local councils during disasters)

In his speech, Jalad noted the importance of disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM) as an individual and community responsibility:

“This year’s theme: “Kahandaan at Pagtugon sa Sakuna, Tungkulin ng Bawat Isa” (Readiness and response to crisis: Everybody’s duty), highlights the core intention of this annual observance: To make our people own DRRM as a personal responsibility; that surviving, outlasting the ravages of any hazard, and making communities resilient, is a duty of every Filipino.” 

Undersecretary Jalad also called on all sectors to unite to build resiliency throughout the Philippines. (READ: ‘Understand needs of communities to reduce disaster risks’ – climate change expert)

“Allow me this opportunity to reach out to all our friends, colleagues, partners, and stakeholders, with these words: DRRM is everybody’s concern and responsibility. It is not just the responsibility of a single person, an agency, or just the government. Rather, it is the responsibillity of each and every Filipino.” – with a report by Jaira Roxas/


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