MANILA, Philippines—The city government of Makati recently sent a delegation to Kathmandu, where the World Bank held the second leg of its Global Facility for Disaster Risk Reduction, during which officials exchanged best practices on how they make themselves more responsive to disasters.
In a statement, Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay said the initiative, where the country’s financial capital linked up with Kathmandu and Quito, Ecuador, opened Makati to further improvements in facilitating disaster mitigation and adjusting urban zoning to adapt to changing times.
“Disasters and calamities are just around the corner and may strike anytime, so we must be prepared and equip ourselves with the necessary tools and equipment, as well as knowledge and skills,” he said.
In the seminar, Kathmandu officials shared their best practices, which include the use of open spaces in the tiny, landlocked country as evacuation areas during emergency situations and putting on standby wells to serve as a potable water source should supply lines be cut off, among others.
Participants who took part in the information exchange were expected to echo their learning through seminars in their local governments back in their home countries, according to the mayor.
Early this month, land use planning specialist Candido Cabrido and knowledge management specialist Paz Diaz from the University of the Philippines, whom Makati tapped to join the Kathmandu discussions, lectured on city officials from City Hall to the barangay (village) level.
“The government is obliged to cascade such knowledge and initiatives to the people in common terms and languages that they can understand, and make them recognize the impending threat and act to ensure their preparedness,” Binay said.
He added that any effort to mitigate the effects of natural calamities must always be done in a holistic approach, with all stakeholders getting involved in the planning.