Typhoon Ondoy’s 10th Anniversary: Groups Urge All LGUs to Re-Commit to Building Disaster-Resilient and Healthy Communities
Buklod Tao – EcoWaste Coalition
Joint Press Release
As the 10th anniversary of the devastating tropical storm Ondoy (international name: Ketsana) is observed tomorrow, September 26, environmental health groups urged all cities and municipalities to re-commit to building disaster-resilient and healthy communities as the impacts of deteriorating global climate continue to unfold.
“As we recall the wrath of Ondoy, we urge all city and municipal governments to assess their compliance to the provisions of two vital post-Ondoy laws - Republic Acts 9729 and 10121 - in order to foster climate adaptation and disaster resilience, especially in our poor and vulnerable communities,” said Noli Abinales, founder of Buklod Tao and former president of the EcoWaste Coalition.
RA 9729, or the Climate Change Act of 2009, directs local government units, among other things, to put together and regularly update their Local Climate Change Action Plans (LCCAPs) to reflect changing social, economic, and environmental conditions and emerging issues.
While RA 10121, or the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010, requires Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Plans (LDRRMPs) to be drawn up, reviewed and tested, among other provisions.
“The effective implementation of holistic people-driven LCCAPs and LDRRMPs is essential if we are to strengthen the disaster preparedness and emergency response capacities of families and communities, particularly those living in hazard-prone and high-risk localities,” Abinales said.
“Let the tragic memories of Ondoy and other extreme weather disturbances remind us of the need to faithfully carry out the provisions of RA 9729 and RA 10121,” he added.
Recalling the massive garbage crisis in the aftermath of Ondoy, Abinales also emphasized the need to fully enforce RA 9003, or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, to alleviate the impact of natural disasters.
“The proactive enforcement of RA 9003 will prevent garbage from blocking waterways and aggravating the flooding due to heavy rainfall,” he said.
According to the groups, the ecological management of discards before, during and after any calamity must form part of effective LDRRMPs.
Preventing the generation of garbage and ensuring that discards are properly sorted, recycled, reused or composted will help families and communities in minimizing the adverse impacts of any disaster to health, environment and the economy.
The groups noted that mismanaged wastes exacerbate hygiene and sanitation problems in disaster-affected communities and cause the spread of preventable diseases.