Greens PH (Partido Kalikasan)’s Village-level Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (VDRRM) program highlights the low levels of public participation and familiarity with the Philippine’s Disaster Risk and Reduction Management (DRRM) law. Moreover, Greens PH’s National Chairperson, Kiko C. Labro, concludes that the national government’s inability to provide the necessary logistics and support system during natural calamities worsens the effects of the climate change on the Philippines.
The Village-level Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (VDRRM) orientation seminar is a joint project conducted by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources – Provincial Office of Laguna headed by Dir. Isidro Mercado. The project was piloted in twenty Baranggay (Village) of the province which aimed to generate input regarding the:
(a) familiarity of the respective Village Councils (Sangguniang Baranggay) in the process of participatory planning on disaster management;
(b) resource assessment of the respective Village Councils (Sangguniang Baranggay; and
(c) propose mechanism address to the national government to strengthen the existing disaster preparedness program at the grassroots level.
The villages were identified based on their unique characteristics, ie. Urban-Industrial, Fisherfolks Community and Upland/Agricultural Communities. From March 15 – May 30, 2014, the VDRRM process was undertaken with the member-participants from the Greens PH – Village Chapters in the province.
To note, the country is annually affected by twenty two (22) typhoons. Worst from it is the recent typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) which brings the attention of the national government on the significance of the “participatory process” in empowering the potential victims themselves at the grassroots level. Thousands of people were killed, worth of hundred millions of Pesos worth of properties and livelihood were destroyed and hundreds of families were in still in a state of trauma because of their relative’s death and unknown whereabouts of their love one’s missing bodies.
Greens PH (Partido Kalikasan) believed that the results of the VDRRM process would help in determining an acceptable strategy in mobilizing its members nationwide to lead its respective communities to prevent the same situation from Haiyan’s aftermath. In the process of the VDRRM, it is evident that the:
(a) lack of familiarity of the respective Village Councils (Sangguniang Baranggay) on the Preparatory Phase and Post Calamity Phase are absence in their annual Disaster Management Plan;
(b) Lack of Fund which is only equivalent to 5% of the annual Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) from the Department of Budget and Management (DBM). Unfortunately, the same figure in some cases is only equivalent to P100,000 annually. Comparing this figure with the average typhoons which is 22 typhoons annually, the only budget that the Village Council (Sangguniang Baranggay) that entitled to disburse is Four Thousand Five Hundred Forty Pesos only (P4,545.45) as against to the population of 3,500 families on the average. The amount is far small based on the average requirements needed by a family of Five (5). It is allocated for supplies, medicines, equipment, food, trainings and among others;
(c) the absence of strict implementation of the law concerning the environmental protection; and (
d) the government’s inability to exercise prudent in the distribution of relief goods from foreign and local donations.
Mr. Ed Jaramillo, Chairman of the Kaisahan para sa Kaunlarang Pambaranggay (KABALANGAY/Greens Village), Inc., a local party Institute in the province of Laguna describes the results of the activities as inspired by the sorry state of the disaster preparedness experienced by the people at the grassroots cannot be denying the fact that the present system of the Government is not working towards the protection of its citizenry.
The VDRRM is an integral program of the Village Ecological Governance Development Framework (VEGDF) of the Greens PH. The design was piloted also in the province of Laguna being its provincial chapter headed by Kuya Domeng Escasura, which is in the advance stage of the party building compared to the other provinces operated by the party.
Furthermore, Greens PH believes that the only way that the grassroots people will understand how the “Climate Change” work is for them to understand how the disaster affects their socio-cultural and economic wellbeing on a daily basis. The challenges posed by the results of the VDRRM process are the same challenges that the people of Greens PH view as its immediate role in educating the grassroots people and influencing government officials to undertake a radical path in reviewing its priorities in slowing down the impact and lessening the effect of the natural phenomenon brought about by Climate Change in the country.
September 8, 2014
Kiko C. Labro
Photo Credit: Ms. Medelyn Q. Magundayao/Mina Caayupan
09/08/2014 – 00:00