Adelina Sevilla Alvarez, lead convenor of the Disaster Risk Reduction Network Philippines (DRRNetPhils) advised that post-Yolanda efforts should include simple preparations for a disaster as a family and as an individual.

“Let’s start with the simple planning for the family, talk about disaster prevention before it can possibly happen, and then maybe widen it, what do we do as part of the community or as part of the barangay,” she said.

Alvarez made this remark during the forum titled “Building Back Better: Disaster Adaptation and Rehabilitation” held last July 28, 2014 during the 2014 National Science and Technology Week (NSTW) organized by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) at the SMX Convention Center.

DRRNetPhils is a national coalition of Philippine civil society organizations (CSOs), disaster risk reduction management (DRRM) practitioners and advocates bound together by their common goal for disaster risk reduction and management at national, local and community levels.

“Are we prepared for a disaster?,” Alvarez asked forum participants. She emphasized however, that in DRRNetPhils, the question is “Have we learned anything from past disasters? Have we identified any lessons? Did we ever learn from the lessons identified in the past disasters?”

She added that DRRNetPhils is focused on ensuring that Philippine laws on DRRM should be pro-active, focused on risk reduction, and participatory, and that we should have a role managed by the community.”

Discussing the role of CSOs in disaster risk reduction, Alvarez said, “We will be the one to bring the voice, the need of our community.”

The forum was organized by SciDev.Net, an international non-profit organization based in London with six regional desks around the world including the Philippines. It is focused on delivering accurate news, views and analysis on science and technology issues which contribute to global development. SciDev. Net is a partner of DOST which organizes the NSTW every year. (S&T Media Service)

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