A Mabini Dialogue titled “Japan vs. Nature: Understanding Japan’s Best Practices in Disaster Risk Reduction and Management” was held on 07 September 2018 at the Ambassador Benedicto Room, Carlos P. Romulo Library, Department of Foreign Affairs.
Mr. Takanori shared the Japanese experience in Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM), highlighting the implementation of both structural and non-structural measures to build flood-resilient communities.
Structural measures include the development of super levees and reinforced dams, while non-structural measures consist of community empowerment through the establishment of community-based river management committees, disaster awareness programs, and the effective use of the internet as a means of disaster emergency communication.
In discussing the Philippines’s National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Plan (NDRRMP), Director Juangco similarly underscored the importance of community involvement in the DRRM process.
One of the key objectives under the NDRRMP is to strengthen the capacity of communities to anticipate, cope with, and recover from the negative impact of disasters. The national government plays an important role in training local communities in the aspect of disaster preparedness.
Director Juangco emphasized that a bottom-up strategy involving knowledge-sharing between local government units (LGUs) and the national government was necessary in developing the Philippines’s NDRRMP. A major challenge to the Philippines’s DRRM has been the lack of funds for infrastructure development. In implementing DRRM policies, the government would need to eliminate delays in the evacuation of affected people to minimize casualties.
There was a consensus among forum participants that the Philippines should deepen partnership with organizations dedicated to international development cooperation, such as JICA, to create stronger and more disaster resilient communities.