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Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and

Management Act of 2010

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Republic Act No. 10121, also known as the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and
Management Act of 2010, is an act which strengthens the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction
Management to provide for the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Framework,
institutionalize the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Plan and appropriate
funds therefor and for other purposes.

This Act, which is a consolidation of Senate Bill No. 3086 and House Bill No. 6985, provides for
the development of policies and plans and implementation of actions and measures which pertain
to all aspects of disaster risk reduction and management. These include:

Good governance
Risk assessment and early warning
Knowledge building and awareness raising
Reduction of underlying factors
Preparedness for effective response and early recovery

RA No. 10121 was approved by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on 27 May 2010.

COMMUNITY RESILIENCE. RA 10121 emphasizes the power of LGUs in disaster

MANILA, Philippines As Republic Act No. 10121 turns 5 this year, the congressional
oversight committee is conducting a "sunset review" of the law.

Republic Act No. 10121, known as the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management
(DRRM) Act of 2010, is an act mandated to strengthen disaster management in the Philippines, a
country prone to natural hazards.

Signed on May 27, 2010, it aims to develop a framework and roll out resources that will enable
the national government, the local government units, and other stakeholders to build
communities that can survive disasters.

RA 10121 repealed Presidential Decree 1566 that created the National Disaster Coordinating
Council (NDCC). This changed from the NDCC to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and
Management Council (NDRRMC) as the overseeing body.

It also emphasizes strengthening local governments and the importance of local communities. It
institutionalizes the participation of civil society organizations (CSOs) and the private sector.

Five years into implementation, RA 10121 is due for evaluation by the congressional oversight
committee. In consultation with sectors and agencies, the committee will assess the performance
and organizational structure of implementing agencies.

Here are the basic features of the law that they will be looking into.

Strengthening the DRRM System

RA 10121 makes sure that policies and plans are in place to prepare communities for when
disasters strike. Programs should increase awareness and knowledge of risks and hazards, and
preparedness for effective response and early recovery.

RA 10121 empowers regional and local disaster management bodies in terms of responsibilities
and funding.

The regional DRRM councils are tasked to coordinate, supervise, and evaluate the activities of
provincial, city, and municipal DRRMCs.

Given that there will be a huge number of councils in the regional and local levels, the main
coordinating body will be the NDRRMC. The Office of Civil Defense (OCD) helps in the
implementation of activities. (Read: FAST FACTS: The NDRRMC)

Providing framework
In making sure that we are prepared for any disaster, the NDRRMC is to formulate a working
framework centered on preparedness and reducing damage as well as casualties.

RA 10121 says that the framework should be comprehensive addressing different sectors, has
synergy with other agencies and most of all takes into consideration the voice of the community.

It shall be the principal guide to all DRRM plans and activities in the country. The framework
shall be reviewed every 5 years.

Following the framework, the National DRRM Plan should contain goals and objectives in
disaster mitigation. It is the task then of the OCD to formulate and to implement this plan.

As this function is also decentralized to the local level, it is their duty to design and integrate
their own local plans according to national, regional and provincial frameworks and policies.

Appropriation of funds

The President approves the funds for the NDRRMC. The OCD, on the other hand, has been
allocated P1 billion under RA 10121.

Local governments are to set aside at least 5% of their estimated revenue from regular sources
for their disaster management councils. (Read: How do you use your local disaster funds?)

Of the local disaster management fund, 30% shall be allocated as Quick Response Fund, while
the 70% shall be used for pre-disaster measures. During the onset of a typhoon, the QRF serves
as a stand-by fund for relief and recovery programs.
DRRM FUNDS. 5% from regular sources are allocated as disaster funds

The money may be used on pre-disaster preparedness programs, such as trainings, equipment,
supplies, and medicines. Premiums on calamity insurance may be paid for post-disaster

Unexpended LDRRM fund shall add up to a Special Trust Fund for the purpose of supporting
DRRM activities of the LDRRMCs within the next 5 years.

Penal clause

The following are acts that are prohibited by the law, with corresponding penalties:
INFOGRAPH. Prohibited Acts under RA No. 10121. | Graphic by Ernest Fiestan

Violators of the law shall pay a fine of not less than P50,000 or any amount not to exceed

In the instances of imprisonment, the convicted shall stay in prison for not less than 6 years and 1
day to more than 12 years.

If it's a corporation or an association that is found guilty of , the penalty shall be imposed to its
officers. License or accreditation of the body or the officers may be revoked as well.

This also includes perpetual disqualification from public office if the offender is a public official.

Foreigners who have committed the prohibited acts are to be deported without further
proceedings in addition to the penalties of RA 10121.

ANGELES, Pampanga Given limited resources and the Philippines being the most disaster-prone among
highly populated countries in the world, what's the best use of disaster funds?

This was one of the issues that came up during the recent Project Agos workshop in Angeles,
Pampanga. Typically, calamity funds are activated only when an area has been placed under a
state of calamity.

However, the countrys approach to disasters changed after Metro Manila and its neighboring
provinces were devastated by flooding during Typhoon Ondoy in 2009. A new law enacted in
2010 transformed the former National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) into the National
Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC). (READ: FAST FACTS: The

Among other things, the law mandated all local government units (LGUs) in the country to
allocate at least 5% of their yearly budgets for disaster risk reduction and management.

Responsible planning

While LGUs are encouraged to put more funds into disaster management, proper planning is
necessary to ensure that scarce resources are being used properly and not put to waste. It is also
important that the funds address not only the short-term needs and problems, but the long-term
ones, as well.
The Bulacan disaster management office, for instance, has been using funds for its information
and education campaign for children.

Kaka-purchase lang namin ng libro para sa mga bata, P12 million. Yun ay isang handbook.
All hazards ay nandoon, Tagalog version. Mababasa lahat yun ng elementary [students], mula
Grade 5-6. Yung hazards na puwedeng mangyari sa Bulacan at sa buong Pilipinas yun.
Nandoon din yung things to do sa libro, Bulacan disaster management officer Raul Agustin

(Recently, we purchased books for children for about P12 million. The handbook contains all
hazard information, written in Tagalog. Those are hazards that can happen in Bulacan and all
over the country. Topics like things to do are also included in the book.)

We focused on them so that while they are still young, they already know what to do during
disasters. We started with elementary students, Grades 4-6, Agustin added.

Meanwhile, Pampangas disaster management office continues to educate its local chief
executives on the proper use of local disaster funds.

Local disaster management officers from municipalities had a hard time grasping the concept of
local disaster management funds, according to Janica Yambao, Pampanga PDRRMO planning
officer. Most difficult to understand, she said, is how to apply the 70-30 rule.

In the orientations and seminars that we do, we always include an orientation on the utilization
of the LDRRM (Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management) fund. We also help them
formulate their own 70-30 plan, Yambao added.

Using their disaster funds, they also acquired additional equipment which can be used for
disaster response.

Pampanga is one of the top 10 areas at high-risk to earthquakes and prone to landslides. For its
disaster management initiatives, the NDRRMC awarded the Pampanga Provincial DRRM
council the regional Gawad Kalasag in 2014.

The San Fernando Response Unit (SAFRU), which is the emergency response team of
Pampangas capital, San Fernando City, was 2nd Best in Government Emergency Response
Management (GEM) Basic Search and Rescue in 2013.

On the other hand, Bulacan, a province vulnerable to severe flooding, has won the Gawad
Kalasag twice.

Accountability and transparency

At the launch of the Project Agos #ZeroCasualty campaign in October 2014, Albay Governor
Joey Salceda encouraged LGUs to follow the law and use funds for DRRM in their area. "I think
we should make LGUs accountable already. What are you doing with DRR funds? he asked.
Albay is famous for its zero-casualty during Typhoon Mario and Typhoon Glenda. (READ:
Hours after #GlendaPH, Albay starts recovery efforts)

Salceda added that the local budgets of Metro Manila local governments alone already amount to
P54 billion ($1.2 billion). If you take 5%, that would be P2.5 billion ($56.6 million) for DRR.

So if all local governments were to follow the law, how much would total local disaster funds
amount to?

To find out, one needs to collate local budgets, which were difficult to obtain until 2012 when
the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) required LGUs to post those
documents online, through the Full Disclosure Policy portal.

Part of the documents LGUs are required to submit is a report on the Local Disaster Risk
Reduction Management Fund (LDRRMF) Utilization.

San Fernando, capital city of Pampanga for instance, declared in its 2014 LDRRMF Report that
P57,620,225.22 ($1.3 million) will be spent for DRRM. This is based on an estimated revenue of
about P1,152,404,504.40 ($26 million).

Not all local governments are able to allocate the amounts that the law requires them to allocate
to disaster management.

The bigger challenge, however, is ensuring that funds are maximized to prevent loss of lives
when hazards strike. This requires a keen understanding of the principles of disaster
management, the nature of the hazards and risks communities are exposed to, as well as proper

The LGU capacity building workshop in Pampanga is part of a series of workshops that will be
held across the country in the next 6 months with the assistance of the Australian government.

Project Agos is a collaborative platform that combines top-down government action with
bottom-up civic engagement to help communities learn about climate change adaptation and
disaster risk reduction.

Project Agos harnesses technology and social media to ensure critical information flows to those
who need it before, during, and after a disaster. It is a partnership between Move.PH, Rappler's
civic engagement unit, and agencies such as the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and
Seismology (PHIVOLCS), the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), the Office of Civil
Defense, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and other key

Project Agos is supported by the Australian Government.

*$1 = P44.10