“We should be proactive, more than reactive. “
This is the core of the message of Dr. Charles Yu, vice chancellor for Lasallian Mission and Linkages as he officially opened the two-day Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) Workshop at De La Salle Health Sciences Institute.
Seeing the cost of the Mt. Pinatubo eruption and having a first-hand experience of the devastation that a calamity brings to a community, Dr. Yu hopes that DLSHSI would truly be proactive by putting in place systems and procedures that will both reduce the chances of disaster from happening and ensure our preparedness to respond when a disaster strikes.
The two-day workshop held on July 5-6 is a response to the call of the Lasallian Justice and Peace Commission of De La Salle Philippines to ensure that Lasallian institutions are equipped to respond effectively and efficiently to imminent disasters that threaten the community and those who are most vulnerable.
With the Philippines situated at the Pacific Ring of Fire, the country is prone to natural disasters such as typhoons, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, tornadoes, and earthquakes. Further, in 2006, the Philippines also ranked third in the world in terms of death per 100,000 inhabitants and second in terms of population affected by natural disasters. Thus, Maria Isabel Lanada, program coordinator of De La Salle University-Manila Center for Social Concern and Action, clearly sees the need for Lasallian institutions to be aware and responsive to various issues regarding DRRM.
The most tangible output of the workshop was the establishment of plans and actions for the enhancement of current DRRM structures for DLSHSI.