MANILA, Philippines – One of the Philippines’ major challenges to coordinating its disaster risk reduction (DRR) efforts is its geography. Local DRR officials are looking to change that.

The interim board of directors (BOD) of the National Association of Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Officials (NALDRRMO) approved the group’s constitution and by-laws during their first conference held on February 2 to 3, 2017.

They approved the constitution’s content, but agreed to put it through regional consultations before finalizing it. Both are requirements to complete the group’s registration with the Securities and Exchange Commission, but the board decided to get local governments’ buy-in first.

Speaking before the BOD, Ben Frederick Rodriguez, interim president, expressed his hope in greater collaboration among the local disaster officials through the association.

“It is my wish that this association will unify and strengthen our archipelagic country, made of [a] disaster resilient race led by the LDRRMOs I treat as the uncommon breed of leaders,” he told those present.

The NALDRRMO was intended to strengthen the communication among local DRR officials, and coordinate capacity development initiatives at the local levels.

Moving forward

In preparation for the first general assembly in July, the board of directors revisited the Action Plan they developed during their last meeting in November 2016. Canadian Urban Institute Associate Field Director Francis Gentoral, the conference’s facilitator, organized their programs into 4 areas:

  • Capacity Development
  • Policy and Information
  • Awareness Raising
  • Partnerships

Gentoral zeroed in on fundraising to pay for the NALDRRMO’s programs. The BOD agreed to expand their revenue sources and increase resources while reducing their costs.

The board are set to meet again in March to monitor the action plan.

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