The international community has come to the aid of Cagayan de Oro City and Iligan City, the two cities in Mindanao which were hit by flooding in December last year, to enable the cities to cope with the disastrous consequences of natural calamities as a result of climate change. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Australian government (AusAid) have partnered with the Philippine government and are extending financial assistance in the amount of more than P69 M.
The UNDP Country Director, Mr. Renaud Meyer, noted that “As the country faces a future of increasing disaster risks from a rapidly changing climate, UNDP Philippines’ programmatic / integrated scientific approach to climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction and management becomes even more critical in mainstreaming these concerns into relevant planning and decision-making processes from the national to the city/municipality level.”
The amount will be used to assess the disaster vulnerabilities of the two cities and the municipalities surrounding the Cagayan de Oro and Mandulog river basins to geological, meteorological and met-induced hazards due to climate change. About P4M of the amount will be the government’s counterpart.
The project will be implemented for two years, commencing in April 2012 until June 2014. Management and implementation of the project will be spearheaded by the Climate Change Commission under the leadership of Vice Chairperson Mary Ann Lucille L. Sering with guidance from the Project Board which is composed of UNDP, AusAid, NEDA, DENR, DOST, DILG, the Leagues of cities and municipalities, NDRRMC, HLURB, MINDA and PCW. Project management will be led by the Climate Change Commission under Vice Chair Mary Ann Lucille L. Sering.
Sering said that the disastrous events the country experienced in recent years, such as those of “Ondoy” and “Pepeng” in 2009 and “Pedring” and “Sendong” in 2011, showed how vulnerable the urban centers are to extreme weather events caused by climate change.
“These areas should be given priority and a more focused intervention in terms of climate change adaptation (CCA) and disaster risk management (DRR) because of the heavy concentration of human population and economic activities,” Sering said.
Initially, , the AusAID supported and UNDP-assisted Project Climate Twin Phoenix, in partnership with the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) and the Provincial Government of Albay will conduct a study visit, called Peer-To-Peer Experience, for about 36 mayors from the different local governments in Mindanao in the province of Albay in Bicol. Through this visit, participants are expected to develop an action plan to foster learning by doing, peer-to-peer support to affected communities in Cagayan De Oro and Iligan Cities. Participants are also expected to develop an action plan to support the building of resilience of other LGUs in Mindanao to prepare for future disasters.
The project will also have support from Responsible Partners coming from the government, academe, and civil society.