East Visayas new dev’t plan adopts climate change strategies

By Sarwell Meniano and Roel Amazona

November 15, 2017, 4:18 pm

TACLOBAN CITY -- The ‎‎2017-2022 Eastern Visayas Regional Development Plan (RDP) has included one chapter for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation (DRR-CCAM), making it distinctive than plans of other regions in the country.

National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) Regional Director Bonifacio Uy on Wednesday said DRR-CCAM is important to support the attainment of the region’s twin goals of robust and sustained economic growth and reduced poverty and inequality in all dimensions.

“Given the region’s vulnerability to disasters due to its geographic location facing the Pacific Ocean in the eastern portion and within the Pacific Ring of Fire, we saw the need to highlight this aspect by taking the initiative of providing a separate chapter for DRR-CCAM,” Uy said.

Eastern Visayas is the only region in the country with separate chapter for disaster and climate change in the new RDP, stressed Uy.

The official believes that impacts of natural hazards have worsened poverty situation in the region as they destroy the people’s source of livelihood.

“Since natural disasters are expected to be aggravated by the effects of climate change, the strategies for the medium-term will be geared towards enhancing implementation of actions related to disaster prevention and mitigation, preparedness, response, and rehabilitation and recovery,” Uy said.

“These strategies should be highlighted after lessons on the importance of disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation and mitigation (DRR-CCAM) have been learned after super typhoon Yolanda and other past disasters,” he added.

The plan has presented 12 lessons learned from the super typhoon Yolanda that ravaged many areas in the region in 2013. These are vulnerability risk assessment and multi-hazard mapping, DRR-CCAM mainstreamed in various local policies and programs, environmental management, infrastructure system, risk financing and insurance.

Other post-"Yolanda" lessons learned are end-to-end early warning systems, local DRRM councils and offices, partnership and coordination among key players and stakeholders, disaster response operations, assessment and reporting of needs and damages, DRR and CCAM elements mainstreamed into human settlements, and comprehensive land use planning and zoning

The EV-RDP has twin regional goals of robust and sustained economic growth and reduced poverty and inequality in all dimensions by prioritizing on three sectors -agriculture and fishery, manufacturing, and tourism - as regional economic drivers.

The regional plan is considered as a partner of the Philippines Development Plan for 2017 to 2022 under the term of President Rodrigo Duterte geared towards achievement of “Ambisyon Natin 2040”.

“Eastern Visayas will follow a development trajectory that will ultimately lead to the country and region long-term vision. The region will also contribute to the vision of national societal goal of laying the foundation of inclusive growth, a high thrust society and a globally competitive economy by the year 2022,” Uy said.

The new RDP seeks to attain a 6.8 percent to 7 percent economic growth by 2022. (PNA)