Since 1999 up until 2016, the whole month of July is observed in the Philippines as National Disaster Consciousness Month (NDCM) by virtue of Executive Order No. 137. But just last year, President Rodrigo Duterte signed Executive Order No. 29 renaming it to National Disaster Resilience Month (NDRM), and a move to shifting its focus from building disaster awareness to building disaster resilience.
NDRM is set to provide national government agencies and local government units ample time to implement disaster awareness campaigns with longer focus and on a more comprehensive basis.
It’s also an avenue to letting Filipinos realize that Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) is not merely an idea but a system that needs taking actions for.
By description, resilience pertains to the ability of individuals, communities, organization, and states to adapt to and recover from the impacts of hazards and disasters through effective risk reduction and management.
In the Hyogo Framework for Action, disaster resilience is determined by the degree to which individuals and communities are capable of organizing themselves to learn from past disasters and reduce their risks in the future at all levels.
Given this definition, it is deemed that resilience must be a way of life. However, building its culture and practice is complex but needs to be understood and exercise.
We always ask how the government’s level of preparedness is for any eventuality, well in fact communities and individuals must also do their part in preparing and taking cautions.
It is now time to invest on resilience, and by resilience it means covering all four thematic areas of DRRM – disaster prevention and mitigation, disaster preparedness, disaster response, and disaster rehabilitation and recovery.
The observance of resilience is a message to all Filipino people that DRRM is everyone’s responsibility.
It says in this year’s NDRM theme “KATATAGAN SA KALAMIDAD ay Makakamtan, Kapag Sapat ang Kaalaman sa Kahandaan”.
It is a message to encourage Filipinos to start taking actions and heed the call for strengthening synergy towards resilient Philippines.