DILG launches Seal of Disaster Preparedness

An April 25, 2012 press release from the Department of the Interior and Local Government

To further motivate local governments to put disaster preparedness on top of their priority development agenda, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) will launch today, April 25, the Seal of Disaster Preparedness for Floods (SDP) which aims to recognize the performance and efforts of local governments in institutionalizing disaster preparedness for floods.

Secretary of the Interior and Local Government Jesse Robredo said the seal shall be conferred to local government units (LGU) that were able to demonstrate an acceptable level of disaster preparedness and disaster preparedness response before and during floods.

“Through the SDP program, we will not only provide incentives to LGUs that fared well on disaster preparedness, we will also be able to assess performance gaps, provide policy or program intervention based on the identified gaps, and monitor performance progress,” said Robredo.

Robredo said that covered under initial assessment for the SDP are the provinces, cities, and municipalities identified as high risk to flooding, with priority of assessment on local governments located at the 18 major river basins.

“We are focusing on the level of preparedness of LGUs on floods since flooding is a common incidence in the country,” he said.

Data obtained from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Mines and Geosciences Bureau and River Basin Control Office show that 1,127 out of 1,634, or 69 percent of cities and municipalities are susceptible to river or flashfloods.

From 2009 to 2011, more than P55-billion worth of infrastructure and properties were damaged by Typhoons Ondoy, Pepeng, and Sendong. Around 1,200 Filipinos, mostly in Cagayan de Oro City and Iligan City, were affected by Sendong in 2011.

The seal has two levels of assessment: the first looks into disaster preparedness before a flood occurs; while the second focuses on disaster preparedness response during a disaster brought about by a high intensity flood.

To be assessed in the first level of assessment are the following: Leadership Structure (organization of the disaster risk reduction and management council and the disaster risk reduction and management office); Guide to Action (risk assessment and mapping, and institutionalized planning and budgeting); Disaster Preparedness (contingency planning, early warning and evacuation alert system, preemptive evacuation, stockpiling and equipping, technical competency and community awareness).

On the other hand, LGUs that qualified for the second level of assessment shall be evaluated based on the following criteria: Search and Rescue (trained personnel, response time, equipage, and zero casualty); Evacuation Center Management (adequate temporary shelter for evacuees, power, food and water supply, health and sanitation, counseling, and trained center management personnel).

Local governments who pass the first level assessment shall be given a Certificate of Recognition and are qualified for the level 2 assessment. Those who passed the second level shall be conferred with the Seal plus a Disaster Management Fund or disaster equipage.

Other DILG initiatives which will be launched today are the Seal of Good Housekeeping: Bronze, Silver and Gold, and the National Gawad Pamana ng Lahi.

The Seal of Good Housekeeping aims to recognize local governments that accord primacy to the principles of performance, accountability, transparency and participation.

The Gawad Pamana ng Lahi is a total award system and is conferred to a Province, City and Municipality for exemplary performance in Administrative, Social, Economic and Environmental Governance.