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Philippines: OCD-1 launches regional disaster response plan

7 August 2016 - 12:50am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

SAN FERNANDO CITY, August 5 (PIA) - To institutionalize quick response in the occurrence of natural disasters like earthquake and its secondary hazards, the Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) has launched a disaster response plan for the Ilocos region.

Billed as the Regional Disaster Response Plan Version (RDRP) 1.0 for Seismic Hazards, the plan serves as a strategic guide in providing a harmonized and comprehensive disaster response plan based on multi-stakeholder approach before, during and after a disaster strikes.

OCD Region 1 Director Melchito M. Castro and Director Marcelo Nicomedes J. Castillo of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) – Region 1 jointly unveiled the plan in a simple rite during the culminating activity of the National Disaster Consciousness Month (NDCM) held in Bauang town recently.

Castro said the plan shall outline the processes and coordinating mechanisms to facilitate a synchronized response or role of the different government agencies at the regional level to achieve “zero casualty” in region one during disasters.

Meanwhile, Mike Sabado, the Chief of Operations of OCD-1, said that the concept of “Tiered Response” will be adopted in the RDRP which adheres to the capacity of local government in responding to the needs of their constituents during disasters, thus promotes system of accountability and command control.

Tiered Response, he said, considers two specific approaches: augmentation to the operations of the affected LGU and assumption of functions of the LGUs.

Augmentation approach makes use of the results of the Rapid Damage Assessment and Needs Analysis or RDANA conducted by the affected LGU as basis for the request of assistance or augmentation to be provided by the RDRRMC through the Response Clusters.

For Assumption, the Rapid Deployment Teams shall be deployed to conduct RDANA and Rapid Aerial Survey to determine the required number and strategic locations to install Operation Center Hubs. In this assessment, the initial quantity of resources and requirements needed to sustain three to five days of relief and rescue operations are determined.

Results of the RDANA shall determine the need for humanitarian assistance or disaster response.

Further, a Cluster Approach will also be implemented in all areas of activity, defining leadership roles among government clusters in crafting operational strategies and identifying deliverables at the regional and provincial level.

“Available resources of the agencies concerned in the plan will be mobilized depending on the needs of the local DRRMCs as identified in the RDANA report,” Sabado said.

Meanwhile, La Union Governor Franciso Emmanuel R. Ortega III, the guest of honor and speaker during the launching ceremony, cited the all-out efforts of the OCD and the members of the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC) on institutionalizing preparedness of the Ilocos’ residents to help mitigate the effects of disasters.

“Hardwork strikes before disaster comes; then, empowering the people is the best way to reduce the effect of disaster,” Ortega said. (JNPD/FGL/MPA/PIA-1)

World: The Column AHA Centre News Bulletin Volume 19, August 2016

6 August 2016 - 11:57am
Source: Association of Southeast Asian Nations Country: Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Viet Nam, World

On this edition:

  • The first ACDM Working Group Meeting on KIM
  • The 2nd PSC Meeting on ICT Phase III
  • Project Management Roles and many more

Philippines: SP declares portion of Barangay 17 as calamity area

5 August 2016 - 9:58am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

The 18th City Council adopted on August 1 Ordinance No. 13097-2016, declaring a portion of Barangay 17 in Cagayan de Oro City as a calamity area.

Legislators also authorized the City Budget Officer and City Accountant to charge the amount of P1,403,100 to the 5% Calamity Fund-Quick Response Fund CY 2016 as financial assistance to the victims based on the list of calamity victims submitted by the City Social Welfare and Development Office.

Based on the report, 111 houses were totally damaged and 20 houses were partially damaged by the blaze in the fire incident that hit Barangay 17 last July 22, 2016.

Councilors Edna Dahino, chair of the committee on finance, budget and appropriations, Councilor Reuben Daba, chair of the committee on social services and Councilor Ian Mark Nacaya, chair of the committee on laws and rules, are the proponents of the ordinance. (CDO Legislative Information)

World: Zika virus, Microcephaly and Guillain-Barré syndrome Situation Report, 4 August 2016

4 August 2016 - 12:34pm
Source: World Health Organization Country: American Samoa, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Aruba (The Netherlands), Bangladesh, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Bonaire, Saint Eustatius and Saba (The Netherlands), Brazil, Cabo Verde, Cambodia, Chile, Colombia, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Cuba, Curaçao (The Netherlands), Dominica, Dominican Republic, Easter Island (Chile), Ecuador, El Salvador, Fiji, French Guiana (France), French Polynesia (France), Gabon, Grenada, Guadeloupe (France), Guatemala, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Indonesia, Jamaica, Lao People's Democratic Republic (the), Malaysia, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Martinique (France), Mexico, New Caledonia (France), Nicaragua, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Puerto Rico (The United States of America), Saint Barthélemy (France), Saint Lucia, Saint Martin (France), Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Sint Maarten (The Netherlands), Solomon Islands, Suriname, Thailand, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, United States of America, United States Virgin Islands, Vanuatu, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), Viet Nam, World

As of 3 August 2016, 68 countries and territories (Fig. 1, Table 1) have reported evidence of mosquito-borne Zika virus transmission since 2007 (65 of these countries and territories have reported evidence of mosquito-borne Zika virus transmission since 2015):

 51 countries and territories with a first reported outbreak from 2015 onwards (Table 1).

 Four countries are classified as having possible endemic transmission or have reported evidence of local mosquito-borne Zika infections in 2016.

 13 countries and territories have reported evidence of local mosquito-borne Zika infections in or before 2015, but without documentation of cases in 2016, or with the outbreak terminated.

 The United States of America reported mosquito-borne Zika virus transmission for the first time on 29 July 2016.

 Since February 2016, 11 countries have reported evidence of person-to-person transmission of Zika virus, probably via a sexual route (Table 2).

 As of 3 August 2016, 14 countries or territories have reported microcephaly and other central nervous system (CNS) malformations potentially associated with Zika virus infection or suggestive of congenital infection. No additional countries or territories have reported microcephaly in the last week. Three of the 14 total countries reported microcephaly cases born from mothers in countries with no endemic Zika virus transmission but who reported recent travel history to Zika-affected countries in the WHO Region of the Americas (Table 3).

 As of 3 August 2016, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (USCDC) reported 13 live-born infants with birth defects and six pregnancy losses with birth defects with laboratory evidence of Zika virus infection.

 As of 3 August 2016, 15 countries and territories worldwide have reported an increased incidence of Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) and/or laboratory confirmation of a Zika virus infection among GBS cases (Table 4).

 In Guinea-Bissau, on 29 June 2016, Institute Pasteur Dakar (IPD) confirmed that three of 12 samples tested positive for Zika by PC-R. All 12 samples tested negative against IgM Zika. One additional sample from a recent case also tested positive for Zika virus infection.

World: The Market Monitor - Trends and impacts of staple food prices in vulnerable countries, Issue 32 I July 2016

4 August 2016 - 7:37am
Source: World Food Programme Country: Afghanistan, Armenia, Bangladesh, Benin, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Chad, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People's Democratic Republic (the), Lebanon, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Nicaragua, Nigeria, occupied Palestinian territory, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Somalia, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, Thailand, Togo, Turkey, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, World, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Global Highlights

  • During Q2-2016, FAO’s global cereal price index fell by 6 percent year-on-year but it is 3 percent up compared to Q1-2016. The increase is because of rising maize and rice prices. The FAO global food price index has increased and almost returned to the levels of June 2015 (-1%), because prices particularly for sugar and oil increased significantly.

  • The real price2 of wheat is 20 percent below Q2-2015.
    This is because world supplies are at record levels thanks to increased production as well as beginning stocks.

  • The real price of maize came under pressure in Q2-2016 and rose 7 percent from Q1, although it remained stable compared to 2015. Globally, supplies are abundant but consumption is expected to increase and stocks are estimated to reduce in 2016/17.

  • During Q2-2016, the real price of rice increased by 9 percent compared to the first quarter because of declining stocks and concerns about production, particularly in Thailand.

  • The real price of crude oil has increased since February 2016 and is up 34 percent compared to the previous quarter because of decreases in non-OPEC production and various supply outages.

  • The cost of the basic food basket increased severely (>10%) in Q2-2016 in nine countries:
    Ethiopia, Ghana, Lesotho, north Nigeria, South Sudan, Syria, Thailand, Togo and Zimbabwe. High increases (5–10%) were seen in Benin, Cameroon,
    Costa Rica, Egypt, Iran, and Mozambique. In the other monitored countries, the change was moderate or low (<5%).

  • Price spikes, as monitored by ALPS, were detected in 20 countries, particularly in Ghana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria and Zambia (see the map below).3 These spikes indicate crisis levels for the two most important staples in each country, which could be beans, cassava, maize, millet, oil, plantains, rice, sorghum, sweet potatoes, sugar or wheat flour.

Philippines: Cagayan Valley records zero casualties from ‘Carina’

4 August 2016 - 3:12am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

TUGUEGARAO CITY, Cagayan, August 3 (PIA) - - Although some families have been evacuated to safer areas for possible flooding and landslides, no casualties and major damages have been reported so far in the region.

Norma Talosig, regional director of the Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) and chair of the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC), said Typhoon Carina spared the region from major damages after it made landfall in Cagayan on Sunday afternoon.

Talosig confirmed that there were 48 barangays with 2,496 families were pre-emptively evacuated to safer grounds for possible floods and landslides.

“The displaced families are not back to their homes,” she said.

Talosig lauded the efforts of the front line service providers from the different line agencies and civil society organizations for their immediate responses before, during and after the typhoon.

She said the strict compliance of the local DRRM councils with the pre-disaster risk assessment, monitoring, early warning and pre-emptive evacuation has contributed to the attainment of the zero casualty. (ALM/OTB/PIA-2 Cagayan)

Philippines: DSWD launches Virtual OpCen for disasters, other emergencies

4 August 2016 - 3:11am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

As part of its enhanced efforts for disaster management and response under the new leadership, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) through its Disaster Response Assistance and Management Bureau (DReAMB), launched today its Emergency Operations Center for Disaster Response and its online version, the Virtual Operations Center (VOC) microsite accessible via the internet.

The development of the operations center is in line with Section V, Rule III of the Implementing Rules and Regulation of Republic Act 10121—otherwise known as the “Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010″ and in support to the Executive Order No. 2, series of 2016 of President Rodrigo R. Duterte entitled: “Operationalizing in the Executive Branch the People’s Constitutional Right to Information and the State Policies to Full Public Disclosure and Transparency in the Public Service and Providing Guidelines Therefore”.

Through this online facility, the DSWD is making available to the general public information on the DSWD’s disaster preparedness and response advocacies and efforts through the use of popular information and communication technologies (ICTs) that facilitate transparency and good governance.

“We want the public to have more access to government information and services that they can use to secure and promote their welfare and safety during disasters. Information is power, and we want this power to be used by Filipinos so they themselves can find means to prepare for calamities and help themselves immediately when calamities strike. In the coming weeks we will prepare programs and information materials explaining to the public — even to ordinary Filipinos who live in far-flung provinces — how they can access this information through the internet. The more accessible and more understandable technical information is, the more useful it is to Filipinos. We want to empower Filipinos so they can become more resilient and proactive against disasters. The VirtualOpCen is one of our efforts to bring information closer to the people,” said DSWD Secretary Judy M. Taguiwalo.

The Virtual OpCen may be accessed through the DSWD website at or directly at where users can view and download information on:

1) Hazards through the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) partner-agencies of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST);

2) exposure datasets from the Philippine Statistics Authority and the DSWD Listahanan;

3) datasets of evacuation centers;

4) situational reports on DSWD response to disasters;

5) status of relief resources and standby funds available for disaster response; and,

6) predictive analytics and maps for situational awareness and visualization.

“It is our goal to continually improve the mechanisms for disaster response and the sharing of information through this facility is a very important step towards attaining our shared vision for disaster response,” Director Felino O. Castro V said.

The lifeblood of the Virtual OpCen is the committed, vibrant, pro-active “nagmamalasakit” DSWD disaster response community from the municipal and provincial links, Social Welfare and Development Teams (SWADT), Regional and Central Office staff committed to the vision for disaster response which is:

​“Committed to become the world’s standard in the promotion of a safe and resilient Filipino Society, we envision a DSWD that provides timely, inclusive, apolitical, accountable, efficient, and effective services in the management of disaster response.” ###

Philippines: Feature: Farmers save rainwater for dry seasons

4 August 2016 - 3:10am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

QUEZON CITY, Aug. 4 - Farmers in Brgy. Biclat, San Miguel, Bulacan are taking advantage of the rainy season by saving rainwater for their rice farms’ use during dry months. Small farm reservoirs (SFR) help them do so.

SFR, according to Bureau of Soils and Water Management (BSWM), is a water impounding structure with a maximum height of embankment of 4 meter and average pond area of 1,500 square meters. Farmers with areas no more than 2 ha of rainfed farms find the tool convenient to use.

“Almost every farm here has SFR since we have limited water resources and irrigation can’t reach us,” said Rodelio B. Viola, chairman of Biclat Farmers Field School Marketing Cooperative.

Farmers use SFRs as fishponds to give them extra income during the first cropping season. They use the water from SFR for rice production in the second cropping season, particularly before or during summer.

For farmers who want to start their own SFR, they would have to spend more than P10,000.

“We rent digging equipment such as bulldozer or backhoe. In our area, the rent costs P2,000/hour,” said Florentino B. Salvador, a farmer and owner of three SFRs.

“Diggings are made every five years to maintain the depth of the structure as it becomes shallow with soil erosion. If the farmer has resources, he can dig it every year,” he added.

Experts at the Rice Engineering and Mechanization Division of the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) said that SFR is just one of the water harvesting techniques farmers can use during the rainy season.

Other technologies include small water impounding project (SWIP), diversion dam, dug-out pond, open ditch, and rain interceptor ponds and ditches.

According to Engr. Kristine S. Pascual, water harvesting techniques such as SFR, are important as there is a negative effect when rice is submerged in the water for a long time.

“Aeration will be an issue, resulting in poor tillering of the rice plant,” she said. Pascual also gave tips on managing water in the rice field during the rainy season.

“Dikes and irrigation canals must be fixed to make sure that the water flows to the drainage or any impounding structure,” she explained.

She added that farmers can avoid the onslaught of typhoons and floods by following a cropping calendar to guide them on the proper timing of planting rice.

PhilRice breeders also suggest that farmers can plant flood-tolerant varieties such as NSIC Rc194 (Submarino 1) which has an average yield of 3.5 t/ha and matures in 112 days.

For more information on water harvesting techniques, farmers may contact the PhilRice Text Center at 0920 911 1398. (PhilRice)

Pakistan: Pakistan taking the lead in respectful handling of the dead

3 August 2016 - 9:47pm
Source: International Committee of the Red Cross Country: Afghanistan, Ecuador, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Lebanon, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Viet Nam, World

Islamabad (ICRC) – Handling dead bodies with respect and dignity in emergencies is the theme of a five-day course currently being run by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Islamabad, Pakistan. The course has attracted emergency responders from Afghanistan, Ecuador, Indonesia, Iran, Lebanon, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Viet Nam who will benefit from national expertise.

The course covers the core principles of dead body management. It focuses on the new techniques and technologies of identifying and handling the dead with respect and dignity, and minimizing the trauma of bereaved families. The course also reflects on the challenges that commonly hamper communications and coordination in the aftermath of complex emergencies.

The event was inaugurated by the Member Operations National Disaster Management Authority, Brig. Ishtiaq Ahmed and head of ICRC delegation in Pakistan, Reto Stocker.

Brig. Ishtiaq Ahmed highlighted the steps taken by the government of Pakistan to improve in this area: "After a disaster, large or small, all victims should be recovered and identified for a number of reasons, ranging from the needs of the family to paying compensation or sorting out legal formalities."

Reto Stocker acknowledged how much Pakistan had improved its handling of the dead in recent emergencies. "We face frequent disasters in Pakistan and in the region. We need to prepare for disasters, and that includes how to handle the bodies of victims with respect," said Reto Stocker. He also reiterated the ICRC's support for establishing a centre of excellence for dead body management in Pakistan and the organization's willingness to provide technical expertise to help government institutions and private organizations improve even further.

Since 2010, the ICRC has organized 12 courses in Pakistan, training more than 340 emergency responders and forensic specialists.

For more information, please contact:
Najum Abbasi, ICRC Islamabad, tel. +92 300 852 91 08

Philippines: Amid a bloody drug war, hopes for peace in the Philippines

3 August 2016 - 9:46pm
Source: IRIN Country: Philippines

By Simone Orendain

In just over a month in power, the tough-talking new president of the Philippines has started one war and made moves to end two others.

Rodrigo Duterte rode to victory on campaign promises to crack down on drug crime nationwide and resolve conflicts in the southern island of Mindanao, where more than 150,000 people have died in decades of fighting as government forces tackled separate insurgencies by communists and Islamist rebels.

Read the full article on IRIN

China: China, Philippines - Tropical Cyclone NIDA - ECHO Daily Map | 02/08/2016

2 August 2016 - 10:36pm
Source: European Commission Humanitarian Aid Office Country: China, China - Hong Kong (Special Administrative Region), Philippines


• TC NIDA first made landfall over northeastern Cagayan province (Philippines) on 31 July as a Typhoon. It later made a second landfall over Dapeng Peninsula (Shenzhen city, Guangdong province, China) on 1 August at 19:35 UTC as a Typhoon. On 2 August at 0.00 UTC its centre was located over Guangdong province approx. 45 km south-east of Foshan city and it had max. sustained wind speed of 120 km/h (Typhoon).

• Over the next 24 h it is forecast to continue moving north-west over land, weakening and dissipating over the province of Guangxi. Heavy rain and strong winds may affect the provinces of Guangdong, Guangxi, southern Hunan, south-eastern Fujian and Guizhou.

• Heavy rain and strong winds affected Hong Kong (China) and northern Philippines, causing damage. Local authorities in Hong Kong (China), as of 2 August, reported three people injured, 218 evacuated, several flights cancelled and schools closed throughout the city. The Philippine national authorities also reported, as of 1 August, over 1 000 people evacuated and over 8 300 affected in the regions of Ilocos Norte and Cagayan Valley.