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NEDA inks MOA on disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation

The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) recently signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB) and the Province of Surigao del Norte.

The signing is part of the project, Integrating Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) in Local Development Planning led by NEDA, funded by the Australian Agency for International Development, and administered by the United Nations Development Programme.

NEDA signed the MOA with HLURB in line with the preparation of a Reference Manual for mainstreaming DRR and CCA into comprehensive land use plans. The manual shall guide HLURB in assisting local government units (LGUs) as they incorporate DRR and CCA in their land use plans.

It contains a methodology for risk assessment and entry points for mainstreaming disaster and climate risk reduction in the comprehensive land use plans of municipalities and cities. The MOA was signed by NEDA Deputy Director General Augusto B. Santos and HLURB Chief Executive Officer and Commissioner Romulo Q. Fabul.

Meanwhile, NEDA also signed a MOA with Surigao del Norte on integrating DRR and CCA in the province's land use plan. The provincial government will supervise and monitor implementation of the project in its identified pilot areas: the municipalities of Claver, Gigaquit and Bacuag, and the City of Surigao. The MOA was signed by Santos and Surigao del Norte Governor Sol Matugas.

NEDA Regional Development Coordination Staff Director Susan Rachel G. Jose said the agreements were results of NEDA's efforts in promoting development plans as a vehicle for disaster risk reduction and in emphasizing the roles of LGUs in ensuring that pursuit for progress does not compromise the safety and security of communities.

"The guidelines for mainstreaming DRR and CCA in the country's development plans are being refined to include impacts of climate change. The Integrating DRR/CCA project will cover 50 provinces and expand the application of the guidelines to cities and municipalities to strengthen the linkages of regional and provincial plans with city and municipal plans," she said.

On the other hand, Santos emphasized that while frontline agencies and local government units focus their efforts on early recovery from the impacts of climate change, the project will promote a medium- to long-term strategy to rebuild the affected areas into stronger and more resilient communities.

"We recognize the enormous responsibilities of cities and municipalities to their constituencies who bear the brunt of disasters, and so all our actions in this project are focused on building their capacities. We seek to enhance existing structures and processes. We must ensure the active participation of all institutions - government and non-government, local or international - in coming up with a coordinated response to disaster risks and climate change," he said. (PIA)

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