CAMP AGUINALDO, QUEZON CITY – In her keynote address at a symposium organized by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, Senator Loren Legarda specially cited Handicap International’s efforts in inclusive disaster risk reduction (DRR), October 29.
“Handicap International helps local governments promote disaster risk management that is disability-inclusive,” Legarda said. “It has helped communities like Barangay Pagsangahan in San Miguel, Catanduanes, where barangay officials encourage persons with disabilities to take part in disaster preparedness programs. It also helped build an evacuation center that is accessible to persons with disabilities. We wish to see more of these good practices at the community level.”
The senator referred to a DRR project started by Handicap International in 2011. The project sought to promote the participation of persons with disabilities in DRR planning and implementation. It was carried out in the Bicol Region, among others.
The symposium convened more than a hundred people representing various organizations nationwide. Co-organized by the Office of Civil Defense and the DRR Network Philippines, it carried the theme, “From Generation to Generation: Communities Step Up for Disaster Resilience. Resilience is for Life!”
Focusing on the role of the elderly and persons with disabilities in DRR, the forum featured speakers from various government agencies and representatives of vulnerable groups.
Today Handicap International is part of Scaling Up Resilience in Governance (SURGE), a consortium project with Christian Aid, Oxfam, and Plan International. SURGE aims to increase resilience of high-risk communities in the Philippines. It also extends the learnings on inclusive community-based disaster risk reduction (ICBDRR) to more communities and advocates improvements in disaster risk management policies and practices.