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Metro Naga DRR Stakeholders Sign Memorandum to Strengthen Public-Private Sector Collaboration

Metro Naga DRR Stakeholders Sign Memorandum to Strengthen Public-Private Sector Collaboration

Metro Naga DRR Stakeholders Sign Memorandum to Strengthen Public-Private Sector Collaboration

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By Jagel Mae S. Escandor
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Naga City, Camarines Sur — Partners of the Asia Pacific Alliance for Disaster Management (A-PAD) signed a Memorandum of Understanding through a press conference held Wednesday morning at Cafe Frederico, Crown Plaza Hotel in this city.

A-PAD is a trans-national disaster aid and management alliance that works for cooperation and understanding between governments and private sectors within the Asia Pacific region.

After series of meetings, initial member-stakeholders came up with the reflection of A-PAD’s local platform in Metro Naga whereby members can pool in various efforts and share resources before, during and after a typhoon between the government and private sectors.

Members of said alliance come from the City Government of Naga through the City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office, Metro Naga Development Council, Metro Naga Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Central Bicol State University of Agriculture, Mariners Polytechnic Colleges, Philippine Information Agency, Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas – Camarines Sur Chapter, Tarabang Para Sa Bicol, Inc., and Citizens Disaster Response Center. CDRC and play a Secretariat role for said group.

A-PAD Philippines National Coordinator Athea Penaloza said in her opening statement that the initiative of forming a local expression of A-PAD takes a pro-active move towards efficient typhoon response and effects mitigation especially in low-lying communities.

Learning from the country’s experiences in the past when people and organizations only prepare once the typhoon comes, she further stressed the need for early preparation in this era of immense change in our climatic situation. It is also the very reason for the different stakeholders to work as a group instead of building efforts separately.

“We want to engage more potential stakeholders especially with the business and private sectors to pool in more resources and widen the scope of mitigation initiatives”, she added.

Moreover, CDRC National Chairperson Susana Balingit said that it is better for the alliance to focus on activities before typhoon occurrence as such moves will save more lives, prevent greater damages and require lesser budget than rehabilitation and relief operations.

Naga City Mayor John G. Bongat said in his message before the group that the initiative will define the future of Metro Naga’s readiness in disaster risk reduction and management. He lauded the efforts of non-government entities like A-PAD and CDRC for bringing in their international disaster management experiences in this city as the LGU has limited capacity to do so.

He said that he looks forward to more assemblies in the future for the detailed definition of stakeholders’ roles and translation of plans into actual people’s participation.

Each party has their specific roles defined in the memorandum of understanding to avoid overlapping and duplication of functions. However, all parties need to anchor on the existing plans, programs and policies of the local government. Private organizations will only provide support services and measures where the government lacks.

Thus, MoU signatories have agreed to collaborate on gathering and sharing information in the event of disaster. They also agreed on identifying and coordinating target areas for humanitarian assistance; sourcing and distribution of goods, resources and emergency transportation; providing humanitarian assistance at evacuation centers in coordination with the local government units; conduct of disaster preparedness trainings and activities; facilitation of mitigation and adaptation projects with communities; and sharing of knowledge/technology and expertise that will improve efficiency and effectiveness of humanitarian assistance.

The said MoU signed and agreed upon by the members serves as their long-term commitment to the local alliance in order to combat greater damages to people’s lives and properties especially in the most vulnerable communities within Metro Naga.
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