MANILA-- As a professional military officer, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana knows the value of careful planning and multi-layered defenses in neutralizing enemies of the state.
And, as a graduate of the Philippine Military Academy Class of 1983 and former Special Operations Command chief, retiring with the rank of major general, he wants the same approach done in the country's disaster response and resiliency plans.
The defense chief also oversees the operation of the Office of Civil Defense, the agency responsible for ensuring the protection and welfare of the people during disasters or emergencies, and the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.
In this matter, he was greatly aided by President Rodrigo Duterte, who last June 28, signed Executive Order 29, renaming July as the National Disaster Resilience Month (NDRM).
Formerly, July was commemorated in the Philippines as National Disaster Consciousness Month after then President Joseph Ejercito Estrada issued Executive Order No. 137 to institutionalize the civil defense program.
NDRM shall be observed by NDRRMC member agencies and DRRM councils by undertaking various activities relative to disaster resilience covering the four thematic areas of DRRM namely: Disaster Prevention and Mitigation, Disaster Preparedness, Disaster Response and Disaster Rehabilitation and Recovery.
The observance highlights the shift from disaster awareness building to disaster resilience among the population.
Such change is needed considering that the country is visited by 20 typhoons along with three to five destructive quakes yearly.
And with the Philippines' literally a disaster hotspot, institutionalizing resiliency is one of the steps to ensure the survival of all Filipinos and the country in times of disasters and calamities.
I urge everyone to remain united under the banner of our cause. Let us strive to become greater through our ingenuity and commitment," Lorenzana stressed during the closing ceremonies of NDRM Monday.
This July's NDRM observation theme is 4Ks: Kamalayan sa Kahandaan, Katumbas ay Kaligtasan:"
"Let us harness the collective knowledge and mastery of our people in Civil Defense and Disaster Risk Reduction and Management, drawing inspiration from our people who rely upon us, who have faith in us, so we can truly realize the vision of having a safer, climate-change adaptive and disaster-resilient Philippines, the defense official pointed out.
Source: Philippine News Agency