As the number of man-made and natural disasters increases every year, the need to enhance the public’s awareness and participation in disaster management, preparedness, and response is necessary to mitigate the impacts of calamities happening in the country.
This month of July, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) joins the whole country in observance of the National Disaster Consciousness Month (NDCM) in order to increase the public’s awareness on the government’s disaster preparedness programs.
With the theme, “Kahandaan at Pagtugon sa Sakuna, Tungkulin ng Bawat Isa”, the event focuses on raising awareness and people’s readiness in facing disasters such as earthquakes, typhoons, fires, and the impacts of climate change.
In line with the month-long event, DSWD will conduct a Disaster Response Communication Training and Field Testing, happening from July 4 to July 9, 2016 in La Breza Hotel, Quezon City. The training highlights the importance of effective communication as a vital element in Disaster Response Operations.
Led by the DSWD Disaster Response Assistance and Management Bureau (DREAMB), participants coming from various DSWD bureaus, units, services and field offices are expected to develop understanding on the basics of emergency telecommunications in disaster situations.
This is in line with DSWD Secretary Judy Taguiwalo’s pledge to ensure the timely and adequate response of the department during emergency and calamity situations.
The DSWD also encourages their employees to participate in the NDCM by using the official hashtag, #ResiliencePH, in their social media posts to effectively disseminate all information regarding the event.
Sec. Taguiwalo said that under the new administration, the DSWD will be assessing and evaluating its programs and policies pertaining to disaster management to improve them and make them more effective and responsive to the needs of those who will be affected by calamities.
“Based on what we have experienced during typhoons Yolanda and Pablo, it is clear that much needs to be done to improve our efforts when it comes to disaster management, particularly in the phases of relief and recovery. The DSWD has the means and resources to immediately respond to calamities and emergencies. The effectiveness of the plans, however, has been subject to much criticism and vilification from thousands of Filipinos who cry out how they were not given assistance when they needed it most. To address this, we are currently assessing and reviewing our program, and most importantly we are consulting with grassroots people’s organizations all over the country to determine what needs to be done to improve the department’s disaster response and how it is implemented on the ground,” the Secretary said.