Philippines - ReliefWeb News
From the Department of Social Welfare and Development
With Typhoon Ineng forecasted to affect Regions I, II, and the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), the Field Offices of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in these areas are now on alert to provide relief augmentation and assistance to the disaster relief operations of local government units (LGUs).
o date, these field offices have 47,918 family food packs ready to be distributed to the LGUs, and P7.58 million in standby funds to be used to purchase emergency relief supplies when needed.
As part of its strengthened disaster preparations, these field offices have already prepositioned goods to provinces, towns, and cities to ensure speedy distribution to affected families.
In Region II, where Ineng hovers, the DSWD-Field Office has made available one heavy duty generator and seven portable versions which can be used in evacuation centers in case of power outage.
Residents of areas in danger zones are urged to immediately follow their local authorities’ announcements for evacuation to ensure zero casualty.
Based on reports from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), Typhoon GONI ( or Ineng) has entered the Philippines Area of Responsibility (PAR) on 18 August 2015. The current position of GONI is now at 445 km East of Calayan, Cagayan with maximum sustained winds up to 180 kph. It continues to move westward and within 48 hours , GONI will be in the vicinity of Basco, Batanes Province. Public Storm Signal Warning No.2 (Storm Signal No. 5 is the highest) has been issued by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA). Signal No.2 denoting the potential of damage to poorly constructed billboards, light damage to medium risk structures, nipa and cogon houses maybe partially or totally unroofed and some coconut trees may be tilted. Flooding may also occur due to intense rainfall.
The NDRRMC and other respective agencies have increased monitoring and warning efforts. Pre-Disaster Risk Assessment meetings were conducted to set pre-emptive measures and minimize the potential impact.
Similar with the previous Typhoon NOUL (or Dodong) that entered PAR on May 2015, Typhoon GONI is also moving towards the northern part of Philippines. The pre-emptive measures taken by the Government, including evacuating some 3,800 people, has effectively reduced the impact of Typhoon NOUL. The evacuees are back to their homes and lifelines recovered soon after the typhoon moved away from the area.
Philippines: NDRRMC Update: SitRep No. 04 Preparedness Measures and Effects of Typhoon "Ineng" (I.N. Goni)
l. SITUATION OVERVIEW
Typhoon "Ineng" (I.N. "GONI") entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) on the afternoon of 18 August 2015. At 4:00 PM today, the eye of Typhoon "Ineng" was located based on all available data at 310 km East of Calayan, Cagayan with maximum sustained winds of 170 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 205 kph. It is forecasted to move West Northwest at 11 kph. Public Storm Warning Signal (PSWS) No. 03 was raised in Batanes Group of Islands, Northern Cagayan including Babuyan and Calayan Group of Islands. PSWS No. 02 was raised in rest of Cagayan, Northern Isabela, Kalinga, Apayao, Abra and !locos Norte. PSWS No. 01 was raised in rest of Isabela, Northern Aurora, Quirino, Nueva Vizcaya, Ifugao, Mt. Province, Benguet, La Union, and (locos Sur.
TY "Ineng" is expected to bring moderate to heavy rainfall within its 600 km diameter. Stormy weather with rough to very rough seas will prevail over Batanes, llocos Norte, Isabela, Kalinga, Apayao, Abra, and Cagayan including Calayan and Babuyan Group of Islands. Rains with gusty winds over the rest of Cordillera and the provinces of Quirino, Nueva Vizcaya, La Union, Ilocos Sur, and Northern Aurora.
Occasional rains will be experienced over Metro Manila, Western Visayas, MIMAROPA, rest of Central Luzon and the provinces of Pangasinan, Batangas, and Cavite. Cloudy skies with light to moderate rains and isolated thunderstorms are expected over rest of Luzon and of Visayas. Partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated thunderstorms will prevail over Mindanao.
Moderate to strong winds blowing from the Northwest to West over Central Luzon and the rest of Northern Luzon and coming from the Southwest to West will prevail over the rest of the country. The coastal waters over the rest of archipelago will be moderate to rough.
KUWAIT, Aug 18 (KUNA) -- Kuwait's prominent contributions to the humanitarian field had an international impact and recognition, as the UN celebrates the World Humanitarian Day on Wednesday August 19.
Kuwait had been providing humanitarian aid all over the world ahead of its independence, however, the contributions and efforts had strongly developed since His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah came into position in 2006.
His Highness, who was awarded the title of "Humanitarian Leader" by the UN, had taken the responsibility to aid people in natural disaster-struck countries such as Somalia, Turkey, Japan and the Philippines.
Meanwhile, Kuwait also played a huge role in easing the suffering of those living in conflict-struck countries in the Arab World, including Syria, Yemen, Iraq and Palestine.
The country also held three donors conferences for Syria, which resulted in pledges of USD 300 million in the first conference in 2013, USD 500 million in 2014 and USD 500 million in 2015.
Kuwaiti charity organizations including the Red Crescent and the International Islamic Charitable Organization (IICO) had been continuously delivering aid to Syrian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon.
As for the Palestinian Cause, Kuwait had also been delivering humanitarian aid to provide citizens with their basic needs amidst Israeli siege and war.
Moreover, His Highness Sheikh Sabah had donated USD 34 million for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) in January 2009 to develop its role.
Kuwait had also donated USD 200 million for the Palestinian government for the next five years in March 2009, as part of the plan to reconstruct Gaza after the Israeli war.
In 2012, the country had signed an agreement with the World Bank to contribute USD 50 million to the Palestinian program for reform and reconstruction affiliated with the bank.
In addition, Kuwait had organized many humanitarian aid campaigns to aid people in Yemen, as the war had waged in the country.
As for natural disasters aid, Kuwait had donated USD ten mln for Bangladesh which was struck by a tornado in November 2007. Meanwhile, it had also aided Japan with five million oil barrel (worth about USD 500 million) upon the destructive tsunami earthquake that struck the country in March 2011.
In July 2012, Kuwait had delivered humanitarian aid worth USD ten million to Somalia to aid people suffering from famine and drought.
In 2012, the country had donated USD 250,000 for victims of Turkey's earthquake. Moreover, it had provided USD ten million to the Philippines, suffering the aftermath of a devastating tornado in 2014, while also contributing USD five million to the World Health Organization (WHO) to fight the Ebola virus in the same year.
The UN celebrates the World Humanitarian Day on August 19 of each year, which is the anniversary of the 2003 Canal Hotel Bombing in Baghdad, Iraq, which killed 22 UN workers, including the UN's Special Representative in Iraq Sergio Vieira de Mello, and injured over 100. The blast targeted the UN's Assistance Mission in Iraq created just five days earlier. (end) aas.aas.ag
Typhoon "Ineng" with international name "Goni" entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) on the afternoon of 18 August 2015. At 4:00 AM today, the eye of the Typhoon "Ineng" was located at 955 km East of Aparri, Cagayan with maximum sustained winds of 180 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 215 kph. Public Storm Warning Signal (PSWS) No. 1 was hoisted in Batanes Group of Islands and Cagayan including Calayan and Babuyan group of islands.
Philippines: NYC, NDRRMC sign agreement to include youth representation in disaster mitigation system
Patricia Ruth Cailao
QUEZON CITY, Aug. 19 (PIA) -- The National Youth Commission (NYC) and the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council under the Office of Civil Defense (OCD-NDRRMC) signed a Memorandum of Agreement on Tuesday to institutionalize the participation of youth in disaster risk reduction and management system (DRRM).
“This MOA manifests the two agencies’ serious intent to harness the skills and potentials of young people before, during, and post calamities beyond volunteering to pack relief goods,” NYC Commissioner and showbiz actor Dingdong Dantes said in a statement.
He added that the agreement aims to establish a “culture of preparedness” among the youth, its representation at the local level in terms of disaster response.
Dantes also cited NYC’s role as a policy-making body when it comes to youth representation, highlighting the importance of providing young people with a legal mandate to actively participate in activities and programs to mitigate the impact of disasters and calamities whether natural or mandate.
The institutionalization of youth representation in DRRM councils at the national and local levels, has been reflected and sought after in several bills, such as the Senate Bill No. 2789 or the Youth Participation Risk Reduction and Management Act. The Senate has already approved this bill on third and final reading while the bill’s counterpart at the Lower House is still with the Committee on National Defense.
Meanwhile, NDRRMC Executive Director Alexander Pama said that the agreement signifies the commitment of the National Council and the Filipino youth to collaborate in undertaking DRRM initiatives and in building safer, adaptive and resilient communities nationwide.
“We have seen how the youth can be mobilized to meet the challenges of disasters not just in this country but even around the world. From the simple act of educating other youths about hazards and disasters, participating in relief efforts, and the organization and mobilization of young people that involve major DRRM activities,” USec. Pama said. (PIA-PND)
• GONI (named “**INENG**” in the Philippines) formed over the northern Pacific Ocean, south-east of Guam, on 14 August. From there, it started moving north-west, intensifying.
• It crossed the Mariana Islands as a Tropical Storm (93-102 km/h maximum sustained winds) on 15 August, passing between the islands of Tinian and Rota. GONI affected the Mariana Islands with strong winds and heavy rainfall. On Guam, 100mm of rain were observed over 15-16 August (24h). As of 17 August, local media reported some flooding in the streets of western Guam, as well as electricity network damage on Rota island.
• GONI subsequently continued moving west-northwest, away from the Mariana Islands, intensifying into a Typhoon. On 18 August, at 6.00 UTC, it was over the Philippine Sea, with its centre located 1 350 km east of the islands of Batanes province in the northern Philippines.
• Over the next 48h, GONI is forecast to continue on its west-northwestern track, initially weakening slightly and then intensifying again. It is expected to approach the islands of Cagayan and Batanes provinces as a strong Typhoon late on 20 August, before possibly turning north, towards eastern Taiwan.
• Heavy rainfall, strong winds and storm surge may affect the land along GONI’s path over the next few days.
• A few days earlier, on 8 August, Typhoon SOUDELOR had made landfall in eastern Taiwan and then proceeded towards Fujian province in southeastern China, causing the death of at least 28 people in total, as well as extensive flood and wind damage. SOUDELOR had previously made landfall on Saipan in the Northern Mariana Islands with Typhoon intensity, causing damage mostly to public infrastructure, including the electricity and water supply.
UMCOR is helping at-risk communities protect themselves from typhoons and other hazards
By David Tereshchuk*
August 11, 2015—In the typhoon-prone Philippines, the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) has completed construction of two community storm shelters and is helping at-risk villages employ those shelters effectively, as part of an integrated disaster-readiness program the communities develop for themselves.
In the wake of the devastating 2013 typhoon known locally as Yolanda (and internationally as Haiyan), UMCOR is supporting the construction of up to ten such shelters across the Tanauan municipality in the country’s eastern province of Leyte.
Yovanna Troansky, executive secretary of UMCOR’s disaster risk reduction program, visited the region recently, just as the two shelters were being completed. The shining example of the new shelter built on Eastern Visayas University’s campus grounds impressed her with its simple but sturdy two-story construction.
“It was really exciting,” said Troansky, “to see the completed new building, a structure holding out the promise of huge benefits to the community. The question now for local people,” she added, “is how exactly to use the new building they have at their disposal.”
With strengthening community resilience as its principal aim, a new training program supported by UMCOR will teach local community leaders—and through them the broad population—the best practical steps toward readying themselves for a safe and orderly evacuation in any emergency.
These steps will include a disaster-risk-assessment survey, conducted with the full participation of villagers themselves; village-level planning of ways to reduce hazards; ensuring residents are prepared for such hazards; and agreeing on plans for organizing and mobilizing the population once a typhoon has hit the area.
Another important step will be the formation of community emergency response teams. These will operate along agreed lines of contingency-planning, and will work out early-warning systems, holding repeated response drills and simulations.
UMCOR’s local partners for the training will include the International Institute of Rural Reconstruction (IIRR), which works across the Philippines, and the community-based organization, Rural Development Institute – Leyte, with its long and intimate knowledge of the area’s local villages.
Effective public education, information, and communication will be a vital element of the training program. These are now regarded as essential because they often appeared to be dangerously lacking at the time of Typhoon Yolanda, and many residents ended up confused about just what kind of deluge to expect.
“Analyses of Yolanda’s impact,” Troansky pointed out, “show that a major factor in the high casualty rate was incomplete understanding of what was happening. People didn’t understand the concept of a ‘five-meter (about 16 feet) storm-surge’ that was announced on the radio.”
As a result, residents did not know what they could do to avoid the surge’s worst effects, like seeking safety on the second floor of a secure building. Consequently more than 1,200 people, most of them trapped in low-lying places, died from the surge in Tanauan alone, compared with 45 killed by other aspects of the storm.
In an effort to encourage grassroots input into the new plans, a kind of writing workshop will be held in the communities to refine local knowledge about typhoon behavior in the area and collaboratively create what Troansky calls “the very best and most appropriate kind of messaging.” Having clear plans for just when to evacuate and by which carefully selected routes, based on good knowledge of previous disaster patterns, is critical.
Troansky summed up her visit saying, “I strongly sensed how huge a difference it makes when community members have real confidence in their leaders and in themselves. And how lifesaving it can be when they know just what to do when danger strikes.”
For Assistant General Secretary for UMCOR International Disaster Response, Rev Jack Amick, the Leyte disaster risk reduction program prompted the recollection of a verse (29:18) from Proverbs: “Without a vision, the people perish.”
Amick commented, “The training program will help prevent another major storm from becoming a major disaster. The people will have a vision, a plan, of just what they can do to protect themselves, their families and neighbors.”
*David Tereshchuk is a journalist and media critic who contributes regularly to www.umcor.org.
Snapshot 12 August –18 August 2015
Yemen: The humanitarian situation in Yemen continues to deteriorate. 1.4 million people have become displaced since conflict escalated in March – a 12% increase since early July. Fuel shortages and access issues continue to affect provision of health services. 23% of Yemen’s health facilities are either partially funtional or non-functional.
Iraq: The security situation continues to deteriorate. Of the 3.17 million IDPs, 16% have been displaced since April. Many are stranded in conflict areas such as Ramadi and Falluja in Anbar and face access restrictions into neighbouring governorates. 8.6 million people are in urgent need of aid overall and 5 million are estimated to live in hard to reach IS-held areas.
Niger: A new assessment finds 2.7 million people severely food insecure during the June–September lean season in Niger, corresponding to 15% of the Nigerien population and indicating a severe humanitarian crisis. Population displacement in Diffa region and current flooding in central and southern Niger, affecting 20,000, also impact food security levels in the long-term.
1. Executive Summary
This project is conducted in response to Global Disaster Preparedness Center’s (GDPC) call of developing a comprehensive understanding of the implications of social media analysis tools for disaster preparedness, focusing on the Asia Pacific region.
Two methodological approaches were performed, including an online survey and in-depth interviews with humanitarian organizations in the Asia-Pacific region. All of the 38 Red Cross/Red Crescent (RC/RC) National Societies located in the Asia-Pacific region were invited to participate in the survey, and 18 responded. With one incomplete response, the analysis was conducted based on 17 responses. To construct case scenarios of social media analysis tools, in-depth interviews were conducted with 21 humanitarian organizations (mostly outside the RC/RC network) in the Asia-Pacific region. Through snowball and purposive sampling, those organizations were selected based on their experience with social media and social media analysis tools. To facilitate the process of data collection, six of the interviews were conducted in languages other than English used in the Asia-Pacific region, including Chinese, Japanese, and Vietnamese. The findings from both interview and survey data revealed the state of humanitarian organizations’ use of social media and social media analysis and the opportunities and challenges associated with these uses for disaster preparedness.
Some 20 months since Typhoon Haiyan struck, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) continues to support the PRC in implementing recovery programmes in benefit of those who were mostly impacted. Provision of shelter repair assistance was completed in December 2014, with 18,344 households reached. A further 3,620 households have now also received core shelters together with latrines and septic tanks.
With regards to livelihoods, 24,877 households also received a conditional cash grant of up to Philippine peso (PHP) 10,000 (CHF 202) to support them in restarting their income generating activities. The livelihoods intervention is also now in the process of providing skills training to 577 youth members to expand their employment opportunities. The community-based livelihoods programme has also progressed, with training for facilitators, and orientation for 68 communities already completed. However, only 50 communities have committed to the programme.
Health continues to make good progress with the community-based disease prevention programme. Using the community-based health and first aid (CBHFA) programme, 68 communities have now successfully completed community assessments and are starting to develop community action plans. Out of a target of 20, 5 health facilities have also been completed, 4 of which were rehabilitated and 1 was reconstructed; and a further 14 are currently in progress of being rehabilitated or constructed. Water and sanitation are also making progress using participatory hygiene and sanitation transformation (PHAST) in 22 communities and children’s hygiene and sanitation transformation (CHAST) under way in 27 schools which also received facilities development support.
This is a good example of the integration of health with water, sanitation and hygiene, ensuring an appropriate and holistic response for the community.
The appeal also supports the PRC in improving its technical and material capacities in responding to disasters and delivering services. To strengthen community capacity in preparing for and mitigating the risks of disasters, PRC has incorporated disaster risk reduction (DRR) and management measures in its shelter, livelihoods, health, water and sanitation recovery interventions.
Typhoon GONI which developed in the Pacific since 14 August 2015 is continuously moving West NorthWest. The AHA Centre Disaster Monitoring Response System (DMRS) above shows the projection of the typhoon movement in the next five days, with possible wind speeds peaking up to 212 kph (Category 4). Based on the projection, although the typhoon may not landfall in the Philippines, it may affect Northern Luzon bringing higher rainfall intensity in that area between 20 – 21 August.
As of today, GONI is located in 1600 km East of Luzon. The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Service Administration (PAGASA) may issue a Public Storm Signal Warning as the typhoon enters the Philippines Area of Responsibility in the next 1 – 2 days.
A stronger typhoon has also developed at the same time , with international name Typhoon ATSANI. The track is parallel with Typhoon GONI but the location is relatively far from the ASEAN region. Therefore, no direct impact in the ASEAN region is expected due to ATSANI if it maintains its current track.
Myanmar: Humanitarian Implementation Plan (HIP) South East Asia and the Pacific (ECHO/-XA/BUD/2015/91000) Last update: 06/08/2015 Version: 2
The activities proposed hereafter are still subject to the adoption of the financing decision ECHO/WWD/ BUD/2015/01000
AMOUNT: EUR 19 000 000
0 . MAJOR CHANGES SINCE PREVIOUS VERSION OF THE HIP
Myanmar/Burma experienced relentless torrential rains since the end of June 2015, associated with the Southwest Monsoon system. By the end of July 156 000 people had been directly affected in Sagaing Region, Kachin, Shan and, to a lesser extent, Kayin and Chin States. Thousands were displaced and had lost crops and other livelihood assets, together with their shelter, drinking water ponds and wells were contaminated and many bridges and roads were flooded or destroyed. Compounding this situation, Tropical Cyclone Komen made landfall in Rakhine State and Bangladesh on 30 July, entailing more heavy rainfall, severe winds and storm surge, resulting in further flooding and landslides, damaging crops, homes, roads and other structures in several regions; 33 848 people were evacuated. In the Rohingya IDP camps many of the long-houses collapsed or were badly damaged. As per the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation, 524 895 acres of farmland have been inundated throughout the country. The loss of stored grains and life-stock will disrupt the planting season and impact on long-term food security. On 31 July the President’s Office declared a state of emergency in four regions: Chin, Magwe, Sagaing and Rakhine and shortly after the government sought international humanitarian assistance. An allocation of EUR 1 000 000 is required to cover the most urgent needs.
CITY OF ILAGAN, Isabela, August 17 (PIA) – This province has declared a state of calamity due to the effects of a prolonged dry spell in the area.
The province’s provincial board on Wednesday passed a resolution declaring a state of calamity here following the agricultural damage caused by the dry spell.
Earlier, thousands of corn farmers in the province have been complaining of losses due to a prolonged drought which has been affecting their crops for months.
Danilo Tumamao, provincial agriculturists, said more than 61,000 hectares of corn fields here were already affected by the dry spell with a total damage of P705 million.
Tumamao said San Mariano town and the cities of Cauayan and Ilagan were among the areas which suffered heavily from the dry spell.
“The local government has decided to declare a state of calamity to be able to use the province's P123-million calamity fund to help farmers,” Vice Governor Antonio Albano said.
Albano said the provincial board will discuss with Governor Faustino Dy III the type of assistance to be extended to corn farmers affected by the drought.
“The assistance could be in the form of seeds or fertilizers, farm inputs, or cash assistance,” the vice governor added. (ALM/MGE/PIA-2 Isabela)
When a state of calamity is declared, the local government can use emergency funds to help affected farmers and fishermen.
Floods and landslides affected over 1.3 million people, including 297,000 households displaced in Jul and Aug, according to Government reports. At least 106 people are confirmed dead. The Government, supported by local organisations, UN and INGOs, continues to lead the response, including clean-up, search and rescue and provision of relief assistance.
1.3 million people affected
While life-saving activities continue, recovery efforts are underway. In areas where water has receded, cleaning of wells, ponds and water sources, and repairing of roads and bridges is taking place.
Re-planting of rice crops within the next two weeks is a priority. The National Disaster Management Council has developed a draft rehabilitation plan, focusing on early recovery efforts to remedy the impact on livelihoods and markets.
LAO PEOPLE’S DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC
Localised flooding has affected many rural areas and towns in Vientiane, Xaysomboun, Xiengkhouang, Bolikomxay, Luang Namtha, Khammouane, and Phongsaly provinces. As of 13 Aug, the media reported flooding in three additional provinces: Luang Prabang, Xayabouly, and Borkeo. While needs assessments are ongoing, economists warned of a potential shortage of rice and increased food prices in months to come. National and provincial authorities are providing emergency assistance.
The US Geological Survey reported three strong earthquakes last week. On 15 Aug, a shallow 6.6 magnitude quake struck around 460 kms from the capital, Honiara; a 6.9 magnitude earthquake struck on 10 Aug, followed by a 6.6 magnitude quake on 13 Aug. No damages or Pacificwide tsunami warnings were issued. The National Disaster Management Office continue to strengthen local disaster plans.
The Solomons are part of the Pacific "Ring of Fire", a zone of tectonic activity known for frequent quakes and volcanic eruptions.
A warehouse filled with dangerous chemicals exploded in a violent blast in the Chinese port city of Tianjin on the evening of 12 August. Many people were injured with 114 confirmed deaths. More than 95 are missing, including 85 firefighters.
Over 5,600 households are located within one kilometer of the warehouse and there are concerns for residents’ health as toxic airborne gas could form when rain and calcium carbide mix.
As of 17 Aug, Typhoon Goni is west of Guam and Saipan where it delivered strong winds and heavy rain between 14-16 Aug. On 17 Aug local authorities in the Northern Mariana Islands are assessing damages. Initial reports indicate minimal impact. Most of Saipan is without power or running water since Typhoon Soudelor hit on 2 Aug. People continue to shelter in tents provided by the American Red Cross and the Federal Emergency Management Authority.
Meanwhile, Typhoon Atsani is churning several hundred kilometers to the east of Goni.
Both Atsani and Goni are expected to move towards parts of east Asia in the coming days.5
The Disaster Management Centre (DMC) reports over 151,120 people are affected by drought in 31 Divisions across four districts since early Jul. The DMC is monitoring the situation and district authorities are providing water trucking services to the affected people.
151,120 people affected
The Department of Meteorology reports that the Southwest monsoon for 2015 has resulted in below average rainfall in the southern and western region of the country. On 15 Aug, over 50 houses were damaged due to gale-force winds in the Galkiriyagama area and Anuradhapura district. National authorities are expecting drought conditions to ease over the coming weeks.
Precipitation over the next three months is expected to greatly diverge from average levels. The Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia and Papua New Guinea are very likely to receive less rain than normal. Meanwhile Tuvalu, Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, and Micronesia are very likely to receive greater than average rainfall.
During the 25th ASEAN Summit on 12-13 November 2014 in Nay Pyi Taw, the ASEAN Leaders adopted the Nay Pyi Taw Declaration on the ASEAN Community's Post-2015 Vision together with the Central Elements of the Post- 2015 Vision for 2016-2025. As community building is an evolving process, ASEAN will continue to work towards a region that is internally and externally strong, resilient to regional and global challenges and truly representative of the peoples of the region.
In the political-security pillar, the Leaders stressed the importance of maintaining peace and stability in a shifting geo-strategic landscape in the region. The Leaders highlighted the need to develop a rules-based regional architecture in keeping with the fundamental principles in ASEAN's key instruments such as the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC) and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC). The Leaders also underscored the need to enhance ASEAN's capacity and preparedness in addressing non-traditional security challenges, especially trafficking in persons, counter-terrorism and extremism, drugs, and pandemics.
Download the full document here.
MANILA, Aug. 15 -- Officials of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) called for “inclusive solidarity” in responding to disasters within and outside the region.
In the recently concluded three-day (August 11-13) roadshow dubbed “One ASEAN, One Response” held in Manila, officials highlighted the importance of ASEAN member states responding jointly when one faces calamity.
The whole ASEAN region share the same disaster challenges faced by the Philippines, according to Mr. Said Faisal, executive director of the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on disaster management (AHA Centre). He said ASEAN member countries need to work together in handling disasters.
The concept of a joint response to disasters by ASEAN member states will make coordination of assistance more efficient during disasters, according to Mr. Alexander Pama, executive director of the Philippines’ National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).
“Kapag panahon ng sakuna, imbes na kakausapin natin isa-isa ‘yong mga bansa na gustong tumulong na Asean country rin, iisang focal point na lang ang ating kakausapin which is the AHA Centre,” Pama said. “Kasi bago pa mangyari ang sakuna, nag-uusap na kami through PDRA at nabibigyan na natin sila ng mga impormasyon ng kung ano ang mga kahandaan natin dito at mga bagay na kailangan natin. Gayon din naman ‘pag magbibigay tayo ng tulong (During disasters, rather than talk to each Asean member country that wants to assist us, we only need to coordinate with a focal point which is the AHA Centre. Even before disaster strikes, we already hold PDRAs [pre-disaster risk assessment] and we send the member countries information about preparations we have put in place, and the things we need. The same is true when it’s our turn to provide assistance to others),” Pama said.
ASEAN established the AHA Centre in 2011 to be at the forefront and serve as a coordinating body of disaster assistance within the region.
The first roadshow was organized in April of this year in Jakarta, Indonesia to jumpstart the popularization of the vision “One Asean, One Response” and to seek the support of ASEAN Member States.
The Philippines lends a hand
The damages caused by past disasters in the region such as tsunami in Aceh, Indonesia in 2004, Typhoon Nargis in Myanmar in 2008, and Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines in 2013 showed the need to prepare the Asean member states to respond to disasters.
“The Philippines (has) gained many experiences and knowledge in learning how to cope with disasters,” Faisal said. “The Asean has a lot to learn from the Philippines.”
He lauded pre-disaster efforts of the NDRRMC such as its pre-disaster risk assessment (PDRA) meetings and the comprehensive situational reports it releases to the public.
The new and bigger vision
On the average, the Asean region incurs losses due to natural disasters amounting to US$4.4 Billion.
In 2009, the member countries signed the Asean Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response (Aadmer), a legal framework for all Member States which serves as a common platform in responding to disasters within the region. It aims to reduce disaster losses in the region and conduct a joint response to disaster emergencies.
Aadmer covers the whole spectrum of disaster management, from risk identification, assessment and monitoring, prevention and mitigation, preparedness, response to recovery and rehabilitation. It also promotes technical cooperation and scientific research.
To operationalize the Aadmer, AHA Centre was established to perform the most aspects under the Standard Operating Procedure for Regional Standby Arrangements and coordination of joint disaster relief and emergency response operation (SASOP) such as notification of disaster, request for assistance, offer assistance, disaster situation update, joint assessment of required assistance, mobilization of assets and capacities, and demobilization of assistance and reporting.
To support the affected country in the initial phases of a disaster emergency, the Asean-Emergency Response and Assessment Team (Asean-ERAT) was established to conduct rapid assessments, coordinate with the AHA Centre for the mobilization, response, and deployment of regional disaster management assets, and facilitate incoming relief assistance from Asean Member State. (Kristine Agustin/MnB-OpCen)