ulap logo mobile

24The role of Local Government Units (LGUs), being in the frontlines of government response, is very critical in times of calamities because of their direct knowledge on the situation on the ground. As response to the need of a national framework that shall strengthen the country’s disaster risk reduction and management system, the national government passed Republic Act 10121 or Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010. The said law provides that there should be a Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Plan (DRRMP) both at national and local levels, which should cover four thematic areas: (1) prevention and mitigation; (2) preparedness; (3) response; and (4) recovery and rehabilitation.

To fund these DRRM at the local level, LGUs are required to allocate at least five percent (5%) of their Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) as prescribed by Section 21 of RA 10121. Out of the said amount, 30% shall be allocated as Quick Response Fund (QRF) for relief and recovery programs during calamities and the remaining 70% for programs and projects intended for prevention and mitigation. However, LGUs, especially those belonging to low-income classes and perennially vulnerable to disasters, still face financial challenges to respond to DRRM needs of their localities.

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 map 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, the Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines, as the forefront and representative of the LGUs in policy discussions and program development with the national government, together with The Asia Foundation (TAF) under the “Strengthening National DRRM Financing for Local Governance Actors” project, looked into the opportunities 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 Department of Budget and Management (DBM).

Specifically, this project is designed to achieve the following objectives:

  • 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 to firm up the need for an 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.