CDIA Completes Situation Analysis, Stakeholder Consultations for the Philippine DRRM Study

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CDIA has carried out rapid assessments and consultations with partners to characterize the policy and institutional framework of the Philippines in relation to disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM) and climate change adaptation (CCA).

These activities were undertaken as part of the ongoing project preparation study (PPS) that will help strengthen the capacity of both the national government agencies (mainly the Department of the Interior and Local Government, DILG) and local government units (LGUs) to assume greater responsibilities on DRRM and CCA.

In preparation for the devolution of more government functions to LGUs in 2022, the PPS will develop a program that will enable LGUs to fully integrate DRRM and CCA in their local functions, processes, systems and investments.

The PPS is expected to provide the basis for the preparation of a policy-based loan and an accompanying technical assistance grant for the development and improvement of DRRM and CCA tools, knowledge and operational capacities. It is pipelined for funding by the Agence Française de Développement (AFD).

“It is important to have a good understanding of the current DRRM and CCA set-up in the Philippines,” says Kathleen Jovellanos, Capacity Development Specialist in charge of the PPS. “It provides a solid foundation from which to build reform recommendations that will primarily enable local governments to effectively serve as frontline responders in times of disasters and emergencies in their localities,” she adds.

Starting June of this year, a team of CDIA consultants conducted a rapid situation analysis where they looked at the national DRRM reform framework, assessed the decentralization process in the country, analyzed the DRRM functions and coordination mechanisms, local capacities and available tools i.e. GeoRiskPH that will ease the crafting of the climate and disaster risk assessment tool, and studied the fiscal decentralization and local revenue generation scheme for DRRM.

Ten years since the enactment of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010 and the Climate Change Act of 2009, the experts found several challenges for LGUs. For example, many LGUs have not yet fully organized their functional DRRM offices, while many of those that exist have not yet been fully capacitated to assume their mandated responsibilities.

Many of them have also not yet formulated their local DRRM and CCA plans, resulting in sub-optimal use of local resources for investments and services for resilience-building at the local level.

Moreover, there is a wide disparity of capacities among highly urbanized cities and low-income municipalities, which makes the solutions to many of the bottlenecks LGUs face difficult to implement.

Alongside the technical review, CDIA also initiated policy dialogues with partners and stakeholders in the government, donor community and civil society organizations to be able to achieve consensus and ownership of the proposed reforms.

“Stakeholder mapping and analysis have been critical activities under the PPS,” says Kathleen. “They enabled effective engagement with project partners, at the same time became a venue for discussing potential reforms, forging partnership for the implementation of the reforms and securing feedback on the commitment of various agencies and organizations to the proposed measures,” she adds.

The results of the situation assessments and stakeholder consultations will be consolidated to form the initial policy matrix that will be subject to further refinement and confirmation by the AFD, DILG and other key stakeholders in the next phase of the PPS.

Over the next three months, the CDIA team will prepare, among others, the policy matrix, conduct consultation and validation workshops, finalize the programmatic technical assistance report including the institutional capacity development roadmap, select pilot cities to implement the reforms and identify infrastructure projects in pilot cities.

“Ultimately, we hope that the policy-based lending and capacity development project that will result from this PPS will deepen the decentralization process of DRRM and CCA policy making and implementation in the Philippines,” says Kathleen.

The PPS is funded by the European Union and AFD.

See related story here.

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