Cebu DI-DRR Network Conducts Lahat Handa Training of Trainers

The Cebu Disability-Inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction Network (CDiDRRN) conducted a five-day training-of-trainers (TOT) on Lahat Handa (Inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction) in partnership with A2D Project—Research Group for Alternatives to Development Inc., Cebu Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office and Cebu Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO) on April 18-22, 2016.The training is organized through A2D’s ENABLED Project aimed at building the capacity of its members and partners towards disability-inclusion in disaster risk reduction in the Province of Cebu. A2D’s initiative is funded by Arbeiter Samariter Bund (ASB).

The participants will form the first pool of trainers who will in turn train DRR stakeholders in local government units (LGUs) of Cebu province on inclusive DRR and disaster preparedness. The TOT was participated by more than 30 stakeholders or representatives from the civil society organizations, local government units and disabled people’s organizations (DPOs).

Facilitated by representatives of Handicap International, CBM, National Council of Disability Affairs (NCDA) and Alyansa ng may Kapansanang Pinoy (AKAP Pinoy), the participants were trained using the Manual on Inclusive DRR called Lahat Handadeveloped by a Technical Working Group consisting of the Philippine Office of Civil Defense, NCDA, Handicap International and Center for Disaster Preparedness among others. The manual is a supplementary module to the Office of Civil Defense’s Basic Instructor’s Guide. This manual contains guidelines on inclusive early warning systems, tip sheets for persons with disabilities, and accessible evacuation centers, among others.

Acknowledging the importance of accommodating the specific needs of persons most at risk to disaster, the first day established the link between disasters and the vulnerabilities of persons with disabilities, older persons, women and children. The legal bases of the community-based disaster management and inclusive community risk assessments were likewise revisited.  These lectures are contained in the first module of the Lahat Handa Manual.

The second and third modules were discussed on the second day.  Participants drew up disability-inclusive plans and reviewed the roles and responsibilities of barangay (village) disaster management plans during the workshops that followed.  Games were also used as a methodology in developing family preparedness plans, evacuation planning and prevention and prevention and mitigation procedures.

In addition to this, participants were asked to review the accessibility of the training venue.  Essential feedback and recommendations were given by persons with disability in attendance.  Mark Joseph Signe of Deaf Disaster Assistance Team-Disaster Risk Reduction (DDAT-DRR) noted that blinking lights should be installed inside hotel rooms since loud knocks and telephone rings would not suffice for deaf persons in cases of emergency. Additional comments include trip and slip hazards for persons on wheelchair and those with physical difficulty on the shiny floors of the cafeteria. The facilitators assured that the feedback would be informed to the hotel to address.

The fifth and final day of the training centered on Module 4 consisting of basic concepts of first aid, proper handling of human corpse and basic survival tips. To cap the training workshop, individual participants were tested on their platform skills. Using the Lahat Handa manual they were each asked to choose a topic and simulate an inclusive facilitation; then, their performance were reviewed by the resource speakers.

Marvelous Jordan of the Blind Association of Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu welcomed increasing efforts of civil society groups and the government institutions to mainstream disability inclusion in disaster management through institutionalization of the manual. “This training is an effective means to ensure disability inclusion in DRR. It helps remove barriers for at risk persons by providing information on how what to do during emergencies.”


A2D Project Launches Pioneering Disability-Inclusive DRR Project in the Municipality of Tabogon,Cebu

A2D Project-Research Group for Alternatives to Development, Inc., in partnership with Arbeiter-Samariter-Bund (ASB) and Aktion Deutschland Hilft (ADH) formally launched a disability-inclusive disaster risk reduction (DiDRR) initiative in barangays Libjo and Somosa in Tabogon, Cebu Province on 1 June 2015. The project is called “Post-Haiyan: Enhancing Resilience Through Disability Inclusive Community-based Disaster Risk Management in Tabogon, Cebu, Philippines”.

The overall aim of the project is to promote a disability-inclusive community-based disaster risk management (Di-CBDRM) using the Purok System. The Purok System has received an international recognition for being an effective model in building resilient communities. The project seeks to achieve the following outcomes: (1) establishedPurok System in partner communities; (2) improved capacities of communities in enhancing local disaster preparedness and prevention efforts; (3) increased participation of at-risk groups in local governance structures and processes to facilitate inclusion and accessibility and; (4) shared lessons learned on good DiDRR practices in the Philippines.

According to German watch’s Global Climate Risk Index 2015, the Philippines ranks 5th in the list of countries most affected by extreme weather events during the year 2013.[1] The stories from the communities that have experienced the effects of super typhoonHaiyan (local name “Yolanda”) are testimonies to this event. While the impact of Haiyan has affected millions of lives and properties, its effects are even greater for at-risks groups including persons living with disabilities.

In the 2013 Disability Report Survey of the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), “85.57% of the respondents from 137 countries state that they have not participated in community disaster management and risk reduction processes currently in place in their communities. In effect, they have been excluded from the decision making and planning of such processes.” In the same study, 72.20% of the persons with disabilities do not have a personal preparedness plan in the event of a disaster. But another key finding states that, “If given sufficient time, the percentage of those who can evacuate with no difficulty rises from 20.65 to 38.22%…”[2]

It is in this context that A2D Project seeks to contribute to improving DRRM in communities by rendering the entire DRR process to be disability-inclusive. According to Aloysius Cañete, the Executive Director of A2D Project, “This project, being the first of its kind, is going to be a challenge for us. But we shall draw lessons from this experience with what the pilot communities would be able to achieve using the Purok System – one that has been tested and proven effective in similar high-risk communities”.

This project is funded by ASB through its Philippine Community Resilience Programme. This programme aims to strengthen the resilience of communities affected by typhoon Haiyan through inclusive community-based community programming. ASB is a German relief and social-welfare organisation engaged in a wide range of social service provision in Germany and abroad. Since its foundation in 1888, ASB has represented continuity and reliability founded on non-political, non-religious and non-sectarian principles. Through an integrated approach ASB provides effective worldwide assistance and supports the establishment of locally developed solutions.

ASB’s funding partner is Germany’s Relief Coalition, Aktion Deutschland Hilft (ADH), a federation of German relief organisations that provide rapid and effective aid in the case of major catastrophes and emergency situations.

[1] Kreft, S., et al (2015). Global Climate Risk Index 2015. Germanwatch. Retrieved from:
[2] UNISDR (2014). Living with disability and disasters: UNISDR 2013 Survey on Living with Disabilities and Disasters-Key Findings.

A2D Project Partners with UNICEF in Promoting Child-Centered Disaster Risk Reduction in Haiyan-Affected Northern Cebu

Cebu City, Philippines – In line with its advocacy of promoting disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation in vulnerable communities, A2D Project – Research Group for Alternatives to Development Inc. recently launched a project funded by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) entitled “Strengthening Capacities for a Child-centered Disaster Risk Reduction in the Municipalities of Bantayan and Daanbantayan in the Aftermath of Haiyan” or S3CDRRM.

S3CDRRM is a community-based initiative that recognizes the important role of children in the furtherance of risk reduction efforts. In particular, the project seeks to capacitate children and other community and municipal DRRM actors in advancing child-centered disaster risk reduction and management (CC-DRRM) at the municipal and barangay levels. In 12 months, S3CDRRM will undertake institutional capacity development on Child-Centered DRRM for the Local Government Units of Bantayan and Daanbantayan, two of the hardest hit municipalities during the onslaught of super typhoon Haiyan. In addition, In order to establish good practices in community-based child-centered DRRM, the project operates in two pilot barangays namely, Barangay Patao in Bantayan and Barangay Poblacion in Daan Bantayan. Other activities include the advocacy for the promotion of safer schools and the mobilization of informal community structures particularly youth volunteers for disaster risk reduction.

Since the project’s commencement in September 2014, the project has not only engaged different stakeholders in conducting trainings and planning, it has also facilitated building relationships with other international and local NGOs who are also working in these Haiyan-affected areas. From municipal planning workshops to basic DRR trainings to children’s dialogues to school safety audits done by children, the project hopes to slowly contribute to the dream of achieving disaster resilience.

This initiative is undertaken in partnership with Young Heroes for Cebu and Bisdak Pride.