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Philippines partnership supports disaster preparedness

PHILIPPINES - The week of December 4th the Forest Service provided technical support to the Philippine Office of Civil Defense in the piloting of a training on Emergency Operation Centers for 56 participants from multiple local governments and various Philippine agencies. Robb Chapman, Laura Chapman, and consultant Tim McSherry, served as resource persons during the training. The event was organized by the International Programs office with funding from and in partnership with the United States Agency for International Development Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance. The training aims to guide the Philippine government at the national and local levels in establishing EOCs, facilities with multi-agency stakeholders that coordinate and manage information and mobilize resources during potential and ongoing emergency situations. Based on the outputs of the pilot training, OCD will be finalizing training materials and rolling out the training throughout the Philippines in 2018.

The Forest Service has a long-standing program of cooperation with OCD on disaster preparedness. Starting in 2010, the Forest Service conducted a series of Incident Command System and related courses for Philippine partners. Since then, the Philippines has fully instituted ICS through legislation, policy and implementing guidelines, and has implemented a substantial training program that has cascaded the ICS curriculum from the national to local levels. ICS is now used regularly for on-scene disaster response as well as planned events throughout the country. The Philippines, one of the most disaster prone countries in the world, is recognized as a regional leader in disaster preparedness in Asia.

Forest Service team with members of the Philippine National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council. Forest Service photo.