“There is no doubt that disaster management is no longer an individual government’s job or a particular sector’s responsibility. Regional cooperation is key to promote resilience and sustain economic growth amidst the presence of hazards,” emphasized Secretary of National Defense Delfin N. Lorenzana as he addressed the Association of Southeast Asia Nations (ASEAN) community during the Launching Ceremony of the Disaster Emergency Logistics System for ASEAN (DELSA) Philippines Satellite Warehouse at the AFP Logistics Command Premises, Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo on July 1, 2019.
Initiated in 2012, the DELSA was designed to efficiently manage the provision of relief items during post-disaster emergency situations in ASEAN countries. As one of its three main elements, the DELSA Phase II was launched to establish emergency stockpiles in the Philippines for faster emergency logistics operations in disaster-stricken areas.
“This warehouse, one of the two satellite warehouses built, will support ASEAN’s emergency preparedness and response capacity by housing additional stockpiles of relief items,” said Secretary Lorenzana.
Attended by representatives from ASEAN Member-States, ASEAN Coordinating Center for Humanitarian Assistance (A-H-A Center), and partners in disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM), the ceremony reflected the commitment of ASEAN in institutionalizing stronger disaster response mechanisms in the region through the establishment of the relief stockpiles.
“We have witnessed the ‘One ASEAN, One Response’ in action, and are grateful for ASEAN’s unwavering commitment to ensure the safety and well-being of the peoples in its community of nations,” said the Defense Chief, as he reaffirmed the efforts of the regional body, including the country’s National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) in creating a “safe, climate change adaptive and disaster resilient Philippines.”
The vulnerability of Southeast Asia to the destructive impacts of climate change, or the ‘new normal’, has prompted heightened regional cooperation and collaboration in developing national disaster management mechanisms. The DELSA Phase II is just one step ahead towards a climate change adaptive and resilient Philippines and ASEAN. DND