Philippine Disaster Reduction and Management Act (RA 10121)
The Act shifted the policy environment and the way the country deals with disasters from mere response to preparedness. RA 10121 provides a comprehensive, all-hazard, multi-sectoral, inter-agency, and community-based approach to disaster risk management through the formulation of the National Disaster Risk Management Framework.
A National Disaster Risk Management Plan (NDRMP) is being formulated, developed, and implemented as the master plan that will provide the strategies, organisation, tasks of concerned agencies and local government units, and other guidelines in dealing with disasters or emergencies. Through this plan, a coherent, integrated, efficient, and responsive disaster risk management at all levels will hopefully be achieved.
The law also promotes the development of capacities in disaster management at the individual, organisational, and institutional levels. A very important feature of this law is its call for the mainstreaming of disaster risk reduction in physical and land-use planning, budget, infrastructure, education, health, environment, housing, and other sectors.
RA 10121 also recognises local risk patterns and trends and decentralisation of resources and responsibilities and thus encourages the participation of NGOs, private sectors, community-based organisations, and community members in disaster management. It inhibits the full participation of the Local Government Units (LGUs) and communities in governance. The approach tends to be “response-oriented” or “reactive.” This is evidenced by the widespread emphasis on post-disaster relief and short-term preparedness, such as forecasting and evacuation, rather than on mitigation and post- disaster support for economic recovery.
Moreover, the Act mandates the establishment of a Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (DRRMO) in every province, city and municipality, and a Barangay Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Committee (BDRRMC) in every barangay.
The Strategic National Action Plan on Disaster Risk Reduction for 2009-2019 aims to enhance the capacities of Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Councils.
Finally, RA10121 provides for the calamity fund to be used in support of disaster risk reduction or mitigation, prevention, and preparedness activities for the potential occurrence of disasters and not just for response, relief, and rehabilitation efforts.