The NEDA VIII, as Vice-Chair for the Rehabilitation and Recovery Committee of the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC) VIII, has conducted a week-long writeshop on the RRP of the Local Government Units (LGUs) affected by the magnitude 6.5 earthquake in Leyte. The writeshop was held from January 26 to February 2, 2018 at the NEDA Regional Office VIII, Palo, Leyte.

The activity was part of NEDA VIII’s response to the request of Ormoc City Mayor Richard Gomez for technical assistance in the preparation of the said Plan. The office has also extended the same support to the municipalities of Kananga, Jaro, and Carigara in Leyte, which were also heavily affected by the earthquake.

Under Republic Act (RA) 10121, the Local DRRMCs are directed to take the lead in preparing for, responding to, and recovering from the effects of any disaster. The Regional DRRMCs shall lead if two (2) or more provinces are affected and the National DRRMC shall take over if two (2) or more regions are affected. Notwithstanding this, NEDA VIII as the RDRRMC VIII-Rehabilitation and Recovery Committee Vice-Chair, still willingly responded to the call for help by the LGUs as part of its proactive efforts to build them back better from the disaster.

Present during the activity were representatives from the OCD VIII, Province of Leyte, Ormoc City and municipalities of Kananga, Jaro and Carigara in Leyte. The writeshop focused on consolidating the programs, projects and activities (PPAs), and policy recommendations, which were earlier identified in the Post-Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) and further revalidated during the rehabilitation and recovery planning workshop on December 1, 2017 in Ormoc City.

The RRP, once completed, will be presented to the RDRRMC VIII and the Regional Development Council (RDC) VIII for endorsement to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) for funding consideration.

The Plan, dubbed as “Paglaum” (a local term for “Hope”) covers a four-year period (2018-2021) and contains proposed interventions which are deemed necessary in building back the affected areas better and safer.

It can be recalled that President Rodrigo Roa Duterte signed Proclamation No. 283, Series of 2017, declaring a state of calamity in Ormoc City and Kananga, Leyte after a magnitude 6.5 earthquake shook the Island of Leyte. The tremor resulted to deaths, injuries and damage and losses, especially in the power and social sectors.

Jay-ar Ragub, PFPD, NEDA VIII