The Philippines, being one of the most disaster affected countries, was one of the select Asian countries for a program on ‘Strengthening the Capacity of Government, Local Humanitarian Organizations and the Private Sector on Preparedness for Response in Asia by the Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC).
As observed in ways by which different sectors respond to disasters, never has there been a time wherein all these sectors collaborated with each other. Considering the fact that all have a common goal of building a more resilient Philippines, the PhilPrep was formed to bring the three major sectors together for partnership and collaboration.
The Philippine Preparedness Partnership (PhilPrep) with its major sectors—the Center for Disaster Preparedness (CDP) for the civil society organizations, the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) for the government, and the Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation (PDRF) for the private sector—successfully hosted the 2019 National Humanitarian Stakeholders’ Summit last June 25-26, 2019 at the Luxent Hotel, Diliman, Quezon City.
The two-day event was attended by different stakeholders and duty bearers from all over the country with the call of improving the preparedness and humanitarian response in the Philippines. The participants were “a very good mix of different sectors at different levels in different geographical areas”, as said by Ms. Mayfourth Luneta, the Deputy Executive Director of Center for Disaster Preparedness.
The summit involved the sharing of best practices in emergency response from Quiapo Traslacion Response by Fr. Ricardo Valencia Jr., the Ompong Itogon Response by Ms. Kim Leduna, and Porac Emergency Response Initiative by Mr. Feline C. Castro V. The protocols which include Operation Listo, the Incident Command System, and the Cluster Approach were all discussed by Mr. Joe-Mar Perez, the OIC of the Curriculum Development Division of the Office of Civil Defense (OCD).
Gaps and challenges encountered by every sector were surfaced and discussed to identify the best solutions and suggestions to address them. With the consolidated effort of everyone, a framework was created for coordinated response of the involved sectors which would now guide preparedness and response at varying levels in different parts of the country.
According to Ms. Loreine Dela Cruz, the Executive Director of the Center for Disaster Preparedness, “the three major sectors are just the starting point. There are other more sectors that can be engaged like the media and the academe wherein they have a very influential role as well in terms of preparedness and response. She added that for collaboration to happen, it is people that make it happen. It is the interaction of real people relating with each other in complex, multi-dimensional ways. It is shaped by the sum total of multi-colored relationships of active multi-stakeholders at varying levels in different areas.”
Indeed, this is just the start. With combined efforts and aligned resources, a more effective preparedness and response shall be achieved putting the affected people and communities at the heart of it all.