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The Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines (ULAP), under a grant from the Coalitions for Change (CfC) through the Australian Embassy – The Asia Foundation (TAF) Partnership in the Philippines, has been spearheading various initiatives in policy discussions and program development with the national government on strengthening the Disaster Risk Reduction Management (DRRM) system in the country. On March 11, 2016, a Roundtable Discussion was initiated by the said agencies on reviewing the local fiscal and capacity support environment for DRRM and increasing the access of LGUs to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund (NDRRMF). The event gathered stakeholders to build consensus and map out issues and corresponding suggestions to firm up the local government agenda for reform in DRRM.

Given the demand from the LGUs with regard to the challenges they encounter in the delivery of their services on DRRM, various consultation meetings were conducted to build consensus and mapped out issues and corresponding suggestions of LGUs, civil society organizations and national government agencies on DRRM, to firm up the local government agenda for reform especially on accessing national funding therefor such as the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund (NDRRMF)[1] and People’s Survival Fund (PSF)[2].

Consequently, from the recommendations and possible solutions resulted in the said consultation meetings on DRRM Financing, ULAP, as the forefront and representative of the LGUs in policy discussions and program development with the national government, together with TAF, is looking at the opportunity to progress the discussion with the national government, specifically with the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) through the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) and the Climate Change Commission (CCC).

Thus, a Roundtable Discussion was conducted with the theme “Strengthening DRRM Financing for Local Governance Actors” on October 27, 2016 at Sofitel Plaza Manila. The RTD served as an avenue to continue and boost the conversations between LGUs and national agencies concerned on DRRM financing and to deepen their consensus building and understanding of DRRM financing processes and how to make it more responsive to the needs of the LGUs and their constituents. Moreover, this provided an opportunity to formulate legislative measures and policy proposals based on its findings and keep track of government’s progress in implementing reforms. Specifically, the objectives of the project are as follows:

  • To develop a roadmap for policy reform in DRRM financing to provide more strategic actions with the current administration to increase access to the National DRMM Fund and other appropriate funds available for local governments;
  • To create legislative measure which adopts strategies and policies to be issued by the NDRRM Council to provide mechanisms for easy access in the utilization of the NDRRM Fund at the local level; and
  • To gather further support and recommendations in order to firm up the need for inclusive and developed mechanisms, informed by a medium-term goal of building a group of champions from local governments.

[1] The NDRRMF is provided under Section 22 of Republic Act No. 10121, wherein LGUs and national agencies can access for disaster risk reduction or mitigation, prevention and preparedness activities, and relief and rehabilitation services.

[2] The PSF was created by Republic Act No. 10174 as an annual fund intended for local government units and accredited local/community organizations to implement climate change adaptation projects that will better equip vulnerable communities to deal with the impacts of climate change. It supplements the annual appropriations allocated by relevant government agencies and LGUs for climate-change-related programs and projects.