No country in the world is immune to the various types of disasters. Disasters destroy communities, kill millions, damage the livelihood of people, and leave their marks on the environment. They can stunt a country’s development, and can seriously impact the economy, especially the economy of a developing country like the Philippines. And as ours is a country that sits on one of the most tectonically volatile regions on Earth, as well as located in a corner of the Pacific Ocean where typhoons are born, the Philippines is counted as among the world’s most disaster prone.
Over the years, we have experienced deadly earthquakes, destructive typhoons, devastating volcanic eruptions, and dealt with the challenging aftermath of recovering from their effects.
Disasters may be inevitable, but we can prepare for them. Given our country’s geographic location, being prepared should always be a priority. To this end, our government has, among other things, mandated government agencies to integrate disaster risk reduction and management education in the curricula for secondary and tertiary levels of education, as stated in Section 14 of Republic Act No. 10121 (The Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction Management Act of 2010).
With this in mind, the handbook is designed to aid local government agencies and other relevant organizations to inform and familiarize them on the various types of disasters, their effects, and most importantly, provide guidance on how to prepare for disasters. The handbook emphasizes the importance of preparedness in mitigating risks of the different types of disasters that befall our country.
Among the goals of disaster management are to reduce the occurrence of preventable disasters, and to reduce the impact of those that cannot be prevented, as well as provide guidance on how to survive different types of disasters.
The handbook also emphasizes the shift of focus of the government’s disaster management, from disaster response to disaster risk reduction, from reactive to proactive.
The government, however, can only do so much. An effective disaster management program can only be successful with the help and cooperation of everyone involved— community, civil society organizations and the private sector, LGUs, and the national government.
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