Calamity issues to be included in local survey

Posted on November 17, 2011

DISASTER RISK and climate change issues will be included in a community-based survey next year in a bid to improve resiliency to calamities at the local level, a Cabinet official said on Tuesday.

Local Government Secretary Jesse M. Robredo said in a text message to BusinessWorld that his department will expand the coverage of data under the Community-Based Monitoring System (CBMS).

“In the new CBMS questionnaire, DRRM (disaster risk reduction and management) and CCA (climate change adaptation) questions are already included,” he said.

The information will be made available to local government units, he added, so that “communities will be able to include basic vulnerability assessment of their community.”

“If hazard maps and other information are available, analysis can be enhanced.”

The CBMS is a scheme for the national government to gather information at the local level for planning, program implementation and monitoring. It was implemented by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) this year to address lack of data at the community level.

The survey currently covers concerns on health, nutrition, housing, education, income, employment, water and sanitation as well as peace and order.

In a related development, the DILG is preparing a circular that will outline guidelines for local executives in assuring the safety of their constituents during calamities.

A draft circular, entitled “Guidelines in Ensuring Public Safety during Man-made and Natural Disasters” posted at the DILG Web site, states that local executives should conduct training, orientation and information dissemination on the possible natural hazards and climate change risks “in a language understood” by their constituents.

The Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, for its part, has been tasked to determine and recommend to local officials “the timely declaration of forced evacuation” as well as to identify evacuation centers, the draft circular read. -- Antonio Siegfrid O. Alegado