MANILA - The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council and the Department of Health are going online for National Disaster Resilience Month.
July is National Disaster Resilience Month in the country.
Executive Order No. 29 issued by President Rodrigo Duterte on June 28, 2017 mandates the observance of national disaster resilience month nationwide every July through activities related to the building of disaster resilience covering the four thematic areas: prevention and mitigation, preparedness, response and rehabilitation, and recovery.
Typhoons, earthquakes, floods and landslides are no longer just the hazards that Filipinos face. The current coronavirus crisis has shed light on the dangers of global pandemics.
This year's theme "Sama-samang Pagsulong sa Katagan sa Gitna ng Bagong Normal," will focus not only on the importance of understanding and investing in disaster preparedness and effective response but also disaster resiliency with regards to the threats caused by pandemics.
National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council spokesperson Mark Timbal said due to the certain restrictions, activities for will be done online through webinars, zoom and other social media platforms to engage the public on disaster awareness.
Among those lined up is the Facebook video Resilience Challenge. Similar to a TikTok clip, participants would have to make a video on any of these four categories:
1. What's inside your Go Bag? #GoBagChallenge
2. Dress up your Personal Protective Gear or Equipment. #PPEChallenge
3. Do your Duck, Cover and Hold technique. #BidaAngHanda
4. Show your COVID-19 Risk Mitigation Measure. #BeatCOVID19
Through this, the NDRRMC hopes to get the community as well as the youth involved.
Aside from this, there will also be a spoken poetry contest.
The winner will receive prize money.
Online discussion will also be conducted by the regional offices of the Office of the Civil Defense.
"Discussions will revolve around disaster risk reduction and management in the time of the COVID pandemic. How we can promote resilience as well as the protection of the public from COVID. What are the steps that we have taken? and what are the best practices from the different government units," Timbal explained.
Other local government units will also have their own activities lined up.
The Department of Health meanwhile will also have several virtual activities such as hosting of social media cards and infomercials, dissemination forums and webinars.
Dr. Gloria J. Balboa, director of Health Emergency Management Bureau of the Department of Health, said: "The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the whole world with corresponding significant changes in the public health landscape which includes the threat of all the new diseases, climate change, extreme weathers event, natural disasters, armed conflict all of which has been challenging the health system and has been contributing to the burdens of our existence."
The Civil Defense Office as well as the Department of Health are determined to improve the preparedness and response system to address not only natural disasters but also emerging health threats.
They added that the consolidated effort of the government and the public is crucial in facing the challenges ahead.