Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management News

Compilation of latest research news on climate change adaptation/management and disaster risk management

UPRI Discusses Disaster Preparedness and Volcanic Hazards to Community Nutrition students

On 15 January, Cesca Llanes of UPRI talked about disaster preparedness and volcanic hazards to graduating BS Community Nutrition students from the UP College of Home Economics. The talk was part of a weeklong orientation for the students’ internship in their FN 176 Practicum class. Initially to be deployed in one of the communities near the 14-km radius of Taal volcano, the college decided on the day of the talk to postpone the internship for the safety of the class.

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Cesca Llanes with the FN 176 Community Nutrition Practicum Class

Nevertheless, Ms. Llanes discussed the different terms in disaster preparedness. She showed them examples of events that failed in disaster prevention and events where the disaster was averted. The different natural hazards were then enumerated and briefly discussed, before focusing on volcanic hazards. Tephra fall, lahars, and pyroclastic density currents were the main hazards described, but phenomena related to volcanic eruptions such as fissuring, subsidence, and volcanic earthquakes were also explained. Ms. Llanes briefed them on the different Alert Levels of Taal Volcano and the tsunami, base surge, and ballistic projectile hazard maps released by Phivolcs. After the talk, the students raised a few questions on the alert levels. Possible hazards in their alternate deployment sites were also discussed. 

Medical Needs Assessment in the Evacuation Centers in the Cities of Sto. Tomas and Tanauan, Batangas

The University of the Philippines Resilience Institute (UPRI) - Institution Building Team conducted a medical needs assessment in the cities of Sto. Tomas and Tanauan, Batangas.

In the city of Sto. Tomas, there are 12 identified evacuation centers housing 2,436 families or 9,261 individuals as of today, approximately 90% are from the town of Talisay. Approximately 25% are Children aged 12 years old and below. According to the Vice Chairperson for City Council for Prevention and Mitigation, Mr. Jemuel Calinawan, the common medical complaints are diarrhea and respiratory problems, coughs, and colds..

While the Department of Health (DOH) personnel are stationed at the City Evacuation Center and the Provincial Mobile Hospital is stationed near the PUP STE Gymnasium, and volunteers from the Philippine Red Cross, Doctors’ Association of Albay, St. Luke’s Medical Center Quezon City, and other organizations are on medical mission in the different evacuation centers in the city, Mr. Calinawan stressed the need for additional medical personnel for the different evacuation centers in the city. He mentioned that doctors are needed in the following evacuation centers: Sto. Tomas North Central School (1,259 individuals), Sto. Tomas Primary School (443 individuals), Dona Tiburcia Elem School, Brgy San Miguel (455 individuals), San Vicente Elem School (859 individuals) and San Bartolome Elem School (664 individuals). In addition, these are the following requested relief items in the evacuation centers: 1. Breast Milk 2. Infant and adult diapers 3. Beddings 4. Health Kits and Toiletries (alcohol, toothbrush, toothpaste, tissues, wet wipes, towels and bath essentials)

The Psychological First Aid (PFA) Provider from the City of Calamba, led by Bernard Ferdinand, deployed six (6) teams in the city to assess the impact of the Taal eruption on the children by giving them materials so they can express their experience through illustrations and drawing, and so far there are no visible trauma and shock perceived from them. However, Mr. Calinasan expressed that psychosocial interventions are needed in the different evacuations centers soon.

In the City of Tanauan, there are 26 different evacuation centers, housing 3,462 families with 11,722 individuals. The Incident Management Team organized by the CDRRMO City Government of Tanauan, lead by Engr. Ryan C. Parino who is the Incident Commander, are situated in the old City Hall, since the new one is located within the high-risk zone.

According to the status report of the City Health Office, there are at least 2 personnel from them who are assigned in each evacuation center. But because of the continuous increase of the number of evacuees, additional medical doctors available 24/7 are needed. According to City Health Officer, Dr. Adel S. Bautista, the top health concerns among the children are diarrhea, cough and colds, fever, and headache, while hypertension, body pain, dizziness are the top common with adults. He also cited the case of a 14-year old boy who is in a state of shock, given the situation in the evacuation center. Dr. Bautista also mentioned the need for psychosocial assistance in the evacuation centers.

Also, the City Administrator, Allan P. Credo, observed that schools are better than that of the open evacuation areas, because in here, each room have closer and easier access to comfort rooms, caters to each families’ privacy and is well-organized in terms of relief goods distribution.

UPRI Joins CCC and UPLB INREM for the Technical and Policy Forum on CDRA and LCCAP

Local Government Units (LGUs) are mandated to prepare their Climate and Disaster Risk Assessment (CDRA) and Local Climate Change Action Plans (LCCAPs), which they are to mainstream in their Comprehensive Land Use and Development Plans (CLUDPs) and Annual Investment Program (AIP). LGUs, however, are faced with challenges in terms of the planning process, policies, guidelines, and overall preparation mechanics in the crafting and development of their CDRA and LCCAP.


With this challenge in mind, the UPLB Interdisciplinary Studies Center on Integrated Natural Resources and Environment Management (IDSC-INREM), in partnership with the Climate Change Commission (CCC) and the UPRI, held the Technical and Policy Forum on CDRA and LCCAP last January 7, 2020 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Ortigas Center, Pasig City.


During the event, a roundtable discussion involving the representatives from UPLB, CCC, UPRI, Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), National Panel of Technical Experts (NPTE), and various LGUs shared their experiences and identified the major gaps in facilitating CDRA and formulating the LCCAP.

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Dr. Juan M. Pulhin, UPLB IDSC-INREM Chair and member of NPTE, facilitating the roundtable discussion during the Technical and Policy Forum on CDRA and LCCAP.

The forum aimed to present the current issues and challenges associated with the preparation of CDRA and LCCAP based on the experiences of UPLB IDSC-INREM, UPRI, CCC, and other stakeholders and to discuss the strengths and limitations of the current CDRA and LCCAP guidelines and processes. The forum concluded with the identification of key strategies and action plan to develop a unified policy and guidelines to hasten the preparation of CDRA and LCCAP, in line with the common goal in providing science-based information and conducting probabilistic multi-hazard risk and vulnerability assessment towards a more collaborative and effective approach in resilience building among LGUs.

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Representatives and experts from UPLB, CCC, UPRI, DHSUD, DILG, NEDA, and NPTE who participated in the forum.

 

 

Dr. Lagmay, Discussed Taal Eruption with The Source CNN News, and DZMM

Dr. Alfredo Mahar Lagmay, Executive Director of UP Resilience Institute, gave an informative talk last January 12 and 13, 2020 at The Source, CNN News and DZMM Special Coverage “Pagputok ng Bulkang Taal”. As a volcanologist, Dr. Lagmay shared his knowledge, experiences, and insights on the volcano. Dr. Lagmay also discussed the historical records, eruption process, current behavior and what to expect on the Taal Volcano. The segment was helpful for the general public to understand geologic and scientific terms. He differentiated the PHIVOLCS alert levels of Taal Volcano. Currently, the volcano is under Alert Level 4 which was raised last Jan 12, 2020 at 7:30 pm after the steam-driven eruption of the volcano. Taal Volcano has been under Alert Level 1 since March 2019. Alert Level 4 means a hazardous explosive eruption is possible within the next hours or days. The unrest characteristics of the volcano are still being observed from earthquake swarms and volcanic tremors. Dr. Lagmay enumerated and explained all the hazards associated with Taal’s possible volcanic eruption such as ash fall, pyroclastic flow, base surge, lahar, landslides, lava flow and noxious gas. He also emphasized the difference between the volcanic eruption types phreatic, magmatic and phreatomagmatic. Ash fall was also frequent in several areas near the volcano. The phreatic eruption of Taal resulted in a plume height of 10 to 15 km. Due to the northward wind direction, the ash fall reached as far as Quezon City. He also contrasted the Taal volcano with Mt. Pinatubo in terms of its ash fall accumulation, direction and appearance. For more information, you may watch the full video in the following links: https://cnnphilippines.com/videos/2020/1/13/The-Source--Mahar-Lagmay.html

UPRI attends Gender Equality Toolkit and Review of Women’s Studies Launch

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Director of UP CWGS Dr. Nathalie Africa-Verceles opening the programme

Save the Children Philippines and UP Center for Women’s and Gender Studies (UP CWGS) jointly held the launch of the Gender Equality Toolkit for Early Childhood Educators and the Review of Women’s Studies Journal Vol. XXIX Number 1 at the UP Vargas Museum on December 12, 2019. Attended by Ms. Eddielyn Addun and Ms. Cesca Llanes of UPRI, the launch centered on the long ongoing project of Save the Children to end gender biases and stereotypes by changing methods in educating children in their formative years.

The event was introduced by the host, former Bb. Pilipinas-Universe Ms. Nina Ricci Alagao-Flores. This was followed by the opening remarks of Dr. Nathalie Africa-Verceles, Director of UP CWGS. Ms. Rowena Cordero, Chief of Programs of Save the Children, launched the Gender Equality Toolkit, briefly discussing the years of research work conducted to come up with the kit, which is the first of its kind in Asia Pacific. She then showed a video of how the toolkit helped preschool and early child educators in select sites in Metro Manila. DepEd Saranggani Gender and Development Coordinator Mr. Aurelio Cagang then read a message of commitment in using and learning from the toolkit.

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Ms. Rowena Cordero, discussing the research work done to come up with the Gender Equality Toolkit

After being serenaded by The Voice Romania runner-up Ms. Rose Velasquez, UP CWGS Deputy Director for Publication Dr. Marby Villaceran launched the Review of Women’s Studies journal. Dr. Villaceran enumerated the authors who contributed to the latest volume and congratulated them in publishing their work. Save the Children Philippines CEO Atty. Alberto T. Muyot gave the closing remarks, citing his continued work in teaching as a nod to his mother’s dreams and early career as a schoolteacher.