Culture of Disaster or Preparedness? Showcasing the Community-level Disaster Response System in the Philippines P.M. Orencio GSES Hokkaido University
Introduction The Philippines led the list of natural disaster events with 24 disasters occurring in a year, thereby making the country as the hardest hit in terms of calamities. Criteria used for defining the natural disasters • events where 10 or more people are killed; • 100 people or more are affected; • state of calamity was declared; and • there’s a call for international assistance. 14 out of the 24 disasters that hit the country last year were classified asWe are Number 1! meteorological, 9 were hydrological, and 2 were geophysical.
Prevailing view on disasters and disastermanagement in the Philippines1. Disaster management has not been high in the priorities of thePhilippine Government2. Government’s response to disasters is limited to emergencyrelief, rehabilitation and mitigation are undertaken rarely3. Response to disasters is inadequateand reactive, both at national and locallevel such that: • not integrated in the development planning process • inadequate hazard monitoring and forecasting • limited funds allocated for disaster management Culture of disaster
We are still on the “traditional” approachfor disaster management1. Disaster response is focused on thehazard and the disaster event itself.2. Emergency assistance wasdeveloped based on sense of urgencyand minimal people participation.3. Perception that recovery problemscan be solved primarily throughoutside aid. Dysfunctional institutions
With Government’s neglect, communitydeveloped its coping mechanisms asadaptation strategy to disaster1. Community worked together2. The birth of citizen based communitydevelopment approach • vulnerable or marginalized sectors are at the heart of the development agenda • reliance on the capability of the people to remedy their disaster situation • considers people’s participation essential to disaster management • organizing vulnerable sectors into disaster response organizations Culture of resilience
Sustaining alternatives to “traditional”disaster management systems 1. People’s organizations must be continuously supported through activities that are not always considered disaster responses, but are essential in the process of capability building. 2. Strengthen the networking of organized communities to address equally vulnerable communities to particular hazard and its effects 3. Experience sharing to express common concerns and demandsThe CBDR system in a way is developmental in nature, since the responsesstrengthen people’s existing coping strategies and their capacities.