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Template on disaster risk to be adopted

The National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) will launch in the regions beginning next month the guidelines in determining the various sources of disaster and finding the ways at reducing their impact on lives and properties.

It will also ask the local governments to factor into the template the possible aggravating effect of climate change as manifested in the two recent devastating typhoons.

Director Susan Jose of the Neda Regional Development Coordination Staff said the guidelines on Mainstreaming Disaster Risk Reduction in the regions and provinces will be launched for application in the regions “to help the local governments delineate the hazards and identify the characteristics of these sources of disasters.”

The guidelines will also aid the LGUs “in knowing the exposed elements—the residences, facilities and other structures in them, and to enable them to come up with estimates of losses to lives and properties.”

The methodology has been pretested in Surigao del Norte and a development risk-assessment method was also tested in Ilocos and Cagayan Valley Regions.

The guidelines already include the geological-hazard assessment conducted by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau in the last two years.

Jose said, “The guidelines would include the multifaceted sources of disasters, not only the geo-hazard, but also items like hydrometeorological.”

The guidelines would be like a template for the LGUs to use “and we will ask or remind the LGUs to factor in the climate variability caused by climate change.”

“The hazards are there but in factoring climate change, they may estimate the impact of, say, more volume of floodwater,” she said.

Crafting the guidelines was started almost one year ago, and although the magnitude of the devastation by Typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng was not expected, Jose said the effect of climate change was already anticipated.

Jose joined the Ninth Regional Development Committee (RDCom) Meeting of the Neda Board at the Waterfront Insular Hotel Davao here on Wednesday. The meeting will tackle issues on the reclamation project in Cebu City, the amendment to the Neda Executive Order 325 and the proposal on possible lowering of power and energy rates.

Vicente Lao, president of the Mindanao Business Council and chairman of the Regional Development Council of the Davao Region, said, however, that the RDCom meeting did not touch on whether to recommend or support the government plan to get the P12-billion disaster fund through borrowings.

“It is not in our capacity here to determine if the regions would be amenable with that process,” he said. - Business Mirror

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