Representatives of academic institutions identified their possible roles in the training mechanism

MANILA, Philippines – The Local Government Academy’s (LGA) partners in the academe have taken the next step in building a disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation (DDR-CCA) curriculum.

Representatives of local universities assessed the consortium’s current ability to develop a mechanism for educating local disaster risk reduction and management officers (LDRRMO) during a workshop held on January 17, 2017.

Emma Porio and Jessica Dator-Bercilla of the Manila Observatory helped the participants develop a DRR-CCA capacity building framework and identify the focus of capacity building, the institutions’ focus in the preparedness timeframe, and the specific DRR-CCA excellence areas per institution.

Longtime partners of the LGA, the Manila Observatory will continue helping the institutions develop the curriculum. Institutional Partnership Unit Head Silvestre Barrameda recognized their value, saying the amount of data their researchers have amassed will go a long way in implementing DRR-CCA initiatives.

Having identified focus areas, the participants agreed that the next steps would be to identify the institutions’ gaps, how the LGA can support them, and incorporating the curriculum into local and national initiatives.

Professionalizing local disaster management

This comes at a time when the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) is working to create knowledge hubs to develop and professionalize LDRRMOs and provide local governments with scientific data and pools of local disaster experts and practitioners.

The 2014 Disaster Preparedness Audit also identified several challenges to full compliance with Section 10 of the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010 (RA 10121):

  • Incomplete roster of the LDRRM Office for Planning and Research, and Administration and Warning
  • Lack of technical skill sets and resources needed to have a fully functional LDRRM Office in every region up to the barangay level
  • No formal training or qualification before LDRRMOs can be included in the said office
  • Politics

Academic institutions, already equipped with services for producing and sharing information, were identified as key components in addressing these issues.

Through the LGA, the department formed an academic consortium with one institution per region. These schools formed the consortium in 2015 and have been meeting since then.

A previous workshop in 2016 allowed the LRIs to learn from Brandon University’s experiences of creating a disaster management program. The Canadian university—the first in the country to offer classes on the subject—also worked with the LGA on developing a draft of the curriculum, along with the learning outcomes.

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