Preparedness stressed in Philippine gov’t economic progress Report
by FFE PH News Staff
While the Philippine economy’s performance in the second half of 2013 exceeded expectations despite disasters, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) stressed that disasters can still negate positive growths in the future.
In Neda’s ‘Philippine Development Plan Mid-term Update,’ the office said that being resilient against disasters will prevent cases of sudden poverty or escalation of poverty incidence in the Philippines. It revealed that there are currently 30 provinces that are prone to hazards like landslides and floods.
Neda outlined a number of practical goals that must be met to reduce the impact of disasters in the country, especially in the poorest provinces. These include:
- Providing updated geo-hazard maps
- Developing updated land use plans and local development plans
- Training in disaster response for all residents
- Building of more disaster-resilient structures in vulnerable local government units
In line with this, President Aquino assigned a number of Cabinet members to boost disaster preparedness measures that should be ready before the rainy season kicks in. Some of these measures include the introduction of a storm surge advisory and a flood warning system.
Disaster preparedness has been a growing concern in the country with the onslaught of storms like Ondoy (2009) and Pablo (2012) that are among the costliest in the country. The devastation of typhoon Yolanda last 2013, the second costliest and one of the deadliest in the country, finally spearheaded government and civilian efforts to push for greater disaster resiliency programmes. The latest NDRRMC estimates on typhoon Yolanda is at 6,111 dead and Php36.69b cost of damage.
According to the Asian Development Bank, poverty incidence in Eastern Visayas jumped from 41.2% in 2012 to 55.7% after typhoon Yolanda hit the region. Senator Loren Legarda, a UN Champion for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation for Asia-Pacific, said last month that ‘Poverty breeds disaster vulnerability.
‘As disasters become more prevalent, the higher is the right of the poor to social protection, and the higher is the duty of government to reduce disaster risk in pursuit of resilient development.’
According to the ‘World Disasters Report 2012,’ the Philippines is the third most disaster-prone country in the world.