MANILA – Empowering local government units (LGUs) to develop and implement post disaster rehabilitation and recovery plans and programs is crucial as they are in the forefront of recovery initiatives, said the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).

“The year 2020 started with the eruption of Taal volcano, and ended with consecutive typhoons, Quinta, Rolly, and Ulysses and accompanying floods. Aggravating the impact of these natural disasters is the COVID-19 pandemic. These led to billions worth of government resources being spent for cash assistance, rehabilitation, and reconstruction efforts. More than that, they have also resulted in the irreversible loss of lives and livelihoods,” said Acting Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua during the Ready to Rebuild Training Program Launch on March 4, 2021.

Ready to Rebuild is a capacity building program organized by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), Office of Civil Defense, and the World Bank, to enhance the post-disaster recovery preparedness of local governments units (LGUs).

As the country’s socioeconomic planning agency and National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) vice-chair for disaster rehabilitation and recovery, NEDA has been advocating for proper planning as a key to guide the recovery efforts and to build more resilient communities through improved structures, services, and governance.

In 2014, NEDA led the rehabilitation and recovery efforts following Super Typhoon Yolanda that hit the country in November 2013 and produced the Reconstruction Assistance on Yolanda (RAY): Build-Back-Better and RAY: Implementation for Results documents.

NEDA then formulated the Disaster Rehabilitation and Recovery Planning Guide, which builds on the lessons learned from Typhoon Yolanda, the Marawi siege, and other disasters that affected the country. This was adopted by the NDRRMC in 2019, and serves as the basis of the Ready to Rebuild Training Program.

The Guide promotes the principle of “build back better” that entails not only restoring communities to their pre-disaster conditions, but also developing more resilient physical and social infrastructure. With this, the NEDA chief hopes that the Guide would not only serve as a reference for capacity building, but also aids agencies and LGUs in taking steps towards disaster resiliency.

“We need to make our communities more resilient in the face of disasters or pandemics to enable our people to recover and return to their normal lives in a faster, safer, and better way. LGUs are at the forefront of any recovery and rebuilding initiative. I encourage LGUs to adopt and institutionalize this training program,” the NEDA chief said.


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