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Camp Aguinaldo -- In the Philippines, the “Rehabilitation and Recovery” thematic area has always been the weakest link in the aftermath of disasters. In past disasters (i.e. Typhoons Ondoy, Sendong, Pablo, Yolanda, Bohol and Cebu Earthquakes, etc.) the crafting and implementation of rehabilitation and recovery plans (RRPs) by National Government and LGUs after major disasters were always delayed. This is due to coordination issues, no standard templates and guidelines to prepare plans, bottlenecks in implementation, procurement, and lack of funds to finance recovery and reconstruction projects.

Learning from the lessons of previous disasters, especially Super Typhoon Yolanda, President Duterte directed key agencies to fast track recovery and reconstruction projects. “Bilisan nyo. Wag natin pag-antayin ang mga tao na biktima ng bagyo, baha o lindol”, Duterte said.

NDRRMC has approved a Disaster Rehabilitation and Recovery Planning Guide in a resolution adopted by NDRRMC and signed by Chairperson DND Secretary Delfin Lorenzana; DOST Secretary Fortunato dela Pena; DILG Secretary Eduardo Ano; DSWD Secretary Rolando Bautista; and NEDA Secretary Ernesto Pernia. The Guide is a big achievement of the Duterte administration. This came two administrations and nine years after the passage of RA10121 (NDRRM Act of 2010).

OCD Administrator Undersecretary Ricardo Jalad said, “We want to be proactive and help LGUs and Agencies prepare their plans faster and implement projects with build back better standards.” NEDA as Vice Chair for the Disaster Rehabilitation and Recovery of NDRRMC, formulated the “Rehabilitation and Recovery Planning Guide” with technical assistance from World Bank. “Global good practice and experiences from various local disasters were incorporated in the guide,” Jalad said. The Guide has ready templates of the recovery framework, planning process, institutional arrangements, coordination and implementation mechanisms, options for funding resources, and proposed monitoring arrangements, he added.

World Bank Sr. Disaster Risk Management Specialist Atty. Lesley Cordero said that globally, this is the first country-specific rehabilitation and recovery planning guide ever adopted that will be used by National Government Agencies and LGUs. It is very comprehensive covering all types of disasters including post-conflict recovery. “This is a milestone for the Philippines. With the recent earthquakes, typhoons, flooding, and volcanic eruption, the simplified guidelines could shorten the time for crafting plans and speed up the implementation of projects in affected communities. We look forward to continue supporting the Government in the LGU trainings in preparing local Rehabilitation and Recovery Plans (RRPs),” Cordero added.

Usec. Jalad emphasized that the Planning Guide will be rolled out in time for the crafting of the RRPs for areas recently affected by disasters such as the earthquakes in Mindanao, Typhoons Tisoy and Ursula and other recent weather events that led to flooding, and the Taal Volcano eruption. “NDRRMC teams are currently deployed for the Post-Disaster Needs Assessment in these affected areas, to be followed by the crafting of Rehabilitation and Recovery Plans (RRPs) by the LGUs,” said Jalad.

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