DRR CCA training tarp-2015
The NEDA Regional Office XII recently coordinated a retooling and refresher course for the Regional Land Use Committee (RLUC) XII Technical Working Group (TWG) members and Secretariat in preparation for the assessment of the Regional Physical Framework Plan (RPFP), CY 2004-2030 and the formulation of the Regional Strategies Development Framework Plan (RSDFP), CY 2015-2045.

The three-day training, held on February 26-28, 2015 in Koronadal City, was expected to enhance the basic knowledge of the participants on physical and land use planning and spatial development analysis with the integration of the recent development concerns in mainstreaming disaster risk reduction/climate change adaptation (DRR/CCA) in planning, investment, and decision-making processes.

The course had four (4) main topics, namely, (please enumerate). The resource persons were Colonel Celestino F. Desamito, Jr. (retired) who had extensive experience and knowledge on development and spatial planning; Architect Michael T. Ang, a renowned architect, environmental planner and inventor who has designed and constructed innovative building structures; South Cotabato planning chief Jennifer C. BretaƱa; and Supervising Economic Development Specialist Romel Patrick E. Tanghal of NEDA XII. The resource persons are experts and practitioners in urban, land use, physical planning and DRR/CCA methodologies. Desamito and Ang are private sector representatives to RLUC XII.

The participants were trained to prepare responsive and effective spatial development plans based on the following principles: first, plans must operate with governance and that good governance is necessary to appropriately implement a sound plan; second, planning is a participatory and inclusive process and must be iterative and flexible to accommodate changes; third, community development is a prerequisite to development and that sustainable development happens only if the community understood the plan and its programs; fourth, land use planning promotes liveability, sustainability, viability and equitability, and that an irrational mixed uses of land is an indicator of poor planning; fifth, in terms of transport planning, accessibility and mobility must be always primary considerations; and finally, on the disaster risk and vulnerability assessment, it is necessary to strengthen the capacity of the population to anticipate, cope, and recover from disasters through mainstreaming and institutionalizing DRR/CCVA in various plans and frameworks as well as in increasing collaboration and practice among local government units.

The training also inculcated important facts and lessons to the participants, that as planners they have to satisfy the five human senses- touch, smell, taste, sight, and hearing, to take care of the disadvantaged and marginalized groups of society, and that plans must be designed with human beings as the primary focus.

The 40 training participants are composed of technical personnel of the Provincial Governments of Sarangani, Cotabato Province, and Sultan Kudarat; City Governments of Cotabato and General Santos; National Government Agencies in Region XII, namely, DTI, DOT, DAR, DOST, DENR, MGB, DPWH, DOE, DILG, HLURB, HUDCC and NEDA. Aside from being participants, the Policy Formulation and Planning Division of NEDA XII also served as training secretariat. (Gwyneth Grace B. Collado, NEDA12-DRD)