|Trainee's Manual on Disaster Preparedness (European Commission Humanitarian Office, 59 p.)|
|Module II. Institutional Mechanisms for Disaster Management in the Philippines|
A. 1946-1970 Reactive Approach
The countrys approach to disaster management from 1946 to 1970 was mainly reactive. The government responded to the emergency situation after the disaster have already affected a part of the country. Management efforts was highly centralized with minimum participation of local officials. Organizations of Civil Defense units at the local levels were mostly in paper only, and people were contended to wait for assistance coming from the national government.
B. 1969 - 1973 Development of the Natural Disasters & Calamities Plan
1. Disaster Management Planning
With the development of the Natural Disaster and Calamities Plan, a series of inter-agency meetings with participating agencies were conducted. The guiding principle was to use all available government resources and concerned agencies to work together to address the concerns relative to natural disasters and calamities. The Plan assigned specific tasks or emergency functions to government agencies in addition to their normal primary day-to-day activities. Lead agencies were identified to include the task responsibilities of the private sector. Each agency was to use its own budgeted resources and not to rely on the resources of the lead agencies.
2. Emergency Operations Facilities
The Plan also called for the establishment of a CENTRAL EMERGENCY OPERATING FACILITY (CEOF) in the National Civil Defense Administration (NCDA) under the Office of the President. Likewise, the Plan also called for the setting-up of Emergency Operations Center in each government department. The EOCs were to be provided with communications link with the central CEOF along Roxas Boulevard, Manila.
3. Plan Implementation
While waiting approval of the Plan, the EOC was set-up with communications link established with the different field government offices.
The heavy flooding in Manila as an aftermath of the typhoon that passed the Bicol region in October 1970, prompted the government to transfer the Central Operations Group to the IOC (Infrastructure Operations Center) of the Department of Public Works and Transportation which was then tasked to monitor the progress of infrastructure projects nationwide.
The idea was to operate on a higher ground and at the same time, utilize the communications facilities of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
The President, after being briefed on OPERATIONS BICOL, approved the Natural Disaster and Calamities Plan, and ordered that the NDCC as called for in the Plan, be located inside Camp Aguinaldo. The NDCC was to ensure the effective direction, control, coordination and supervision of the different government and private agencies, both local and foreign, in responding to disasters, natural and man-made.
Disaster Management during the period was reactive and centralized. In 1973, the Office of Civil Defense set up field stations in the 12 Administrative Regional Centers outside of Metro Manila. The field personnel started to convert the local civil defense units into local disaster coordinating councils and to retain the leaders and members of these councils.
D. 1973 - onwards Disaster Preparedness
In 1973, the governments disaster preparedness training started. Government agencies with training funds started conducting the disaster preparedness program with the aim of preparing the populace in responding to any emergency.
The Office of Civil Defense started organizing and training the members and chairmen of the respective councils. The DSWD trained community leaders on how to handle relief distribution, the PNRC trained community leaders on relief distribution and their volunteers on First Aid, while the DOH focused their training on barangay health workers.
E. 1978 Formal Birth of the National Disaster Coordinating Council
To further strengthen the system, the government decided to formalize the Ad Hoc organizations at the national, regional and local levels and to allocate emergency tasks to the different governmental units pursuant to their enabling laws. Presidential Decree 1566 was issued and the NDCC was created. The RDCC, PDCC, CDCC and MDCC were likewise created. From thereon, personalities of the councils evolved and as they continue to exist up to this date.
F. Late 1980s Disaster Mitigation
In the late 1990s as the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction (IDNDR), with the objective of reducing through international concerted efforts, the loss of life, property damage, social and economic disruption caused by natural disasters.
In effect, the NDCC and member-agencies of the council assumed the IDNDR concerns without creating another national body as the IDNDR concerns fell within the scope of the NDCC.
The NDCC created four committees to support the UN objectives and these are the Committees on Structural Measures, on Non-Structural Measures, on Disaster Research, and on Disaster Legislation. At present, the scope of the countrys disaster management system, covers PREPAREDNESS, PREVENTION, MITIGATION AND RESPONSE.