COMPOSTELA VALLEY – To further advocate the need for inclusive community-based disaster risk reduction plans in the area, the Scaling Up Resilience in Governance (SURGE) Project in Davao Region conducted an orientation on the country’s accessibility law for officials and staff in the province of Compostela Valley.
Organized last June 15, the project team of Handicap International (HI) thoroughly discussed the importance of Batasang Pambansa Blg. 344 (National Law #344), which mainly requires public or private buildings for public use to ensure the accessibility of their facilities and thereby enhancing the mobility of persons with disabilities in such facilities. The law also mandates these establishments to install facilities or other devices in order to become accessible to persons with disabilities.
After promoting the significance of the accessibility law, the project team also elaborated on and the rights and risks of persons with disabilities during and after disasters.
Persons with disabilities included in proposed ComVal contingency plan
Following this technical support from HI-SURGE, the local government of Compostela Valley has finalized the province’s contingency plan last June 20, now containing information on how to include persons with disabilities in evacuation, early rescue and response measures.
During the event, Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council head Raul Villocino and municipal representatives discussed basic protocols and measures for disaster risk reduction management, such as the activation of evacuation centers, the establishment of operation centers, and the inclusion of persons with disabilities in contingency planning. Currently, the contingency plan up for review by the provincial governor.
Funded by the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department, SURGE is consortium composed of Christian Aid, Handicap International, Oxfam and Plan International that aims to build and increase the resilience of high-risk communities by promoting inclusive community-based disaster risk reduction practices and taking the learning to other communities in the Philippines.