DRR Local Best Practices Among Visayan LGUs Identified in New SDRC Study

Two years after the brutal surge of Typhoon Haiyan (known locally as Yolanda), the Visayan region continues to recover from the damages wrought. The most striking of these, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (February 2014), were seen in the thousands of deaths, the hundreds that were missing, and the hundreds of thousands of persons that were affected. These are over and above the amount of property and infrastructure that were destroyed.

Working toward diminishing the possibility of damage recurring at such magnitude, local government units and area hospitals have implemented appropriate action and policies, particularly with respect to health services delivery. University Fellow Dr. Exaltacion Lamberte currently leads a research team at the DLSU Social Development Research Center to investigate endeavors in Yolanda-affected areas that are being undertaken to address the situation.

 The study “Sow the Seeds of Change: Local Best Practices in Disaster Risk Reduction Efforts” has the general aims of conducting three case research studies on best practices that demonstrate efforts geared toward disaster risk reduction initiatives aiming at resiliency in the health sector and local government unit; and of identifying success factors running through these disaster risk reduction efforts.

            The case study in Tacloban focuses on efforts to strengthen resiliency of local public and private secondary hospitals. Primarily, it seeks to characterize the impact of Typhoon Yolanda, particularly regarding the capacity of public and private hospitals to deliver health services in the immediate aftermath of the disaster given the damage or effect wrought on its: a) physical or structural integrity; b) available medical supplies and technologies; c) health workforce; d) financial operations; e) leadership and governance structure; and f) information system.

            In northern Cebu, the team looks into how professional organizations in health services delivery are mobilized in the face of humanitarian emergency situations. The extent of the efforts made by the Cebu Nursing Professional Organization to deliver emergency health services in a context in which local health personnel have been unable to deliver emergency health services are being determined.

            Lastly, the municipality of Hilongos in Northern Leyte is the subject of an examination of LGU efforts in serving as a transit station for displaced persons. The number of persons displaced by Typhoon Yolanda, their places of origin, and their planned places of destination, particularly for those who have opted to make a transit stand by the municipality, are studied.