Capacity and Funding: Examining Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) Gaps, Challenges, and Solutions for High-Risk, Low-Income (LGUs)
70 Pages Posted: 22 Jun 2018 Last revised: 29 Jun 2018
Date Written: May 30, 2018
In 2010, the Philippines Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) Act created a Local DRRM Fund (LDRRMF) for local governments and mandated the allocation and use of 5% of their estimated revenues from regular sources. Seven years after the enactment of the law, low-income and high-risk local governments (4th to 6th class municipalities) continue to struggle to perform their mandates as frontliners in DRRM.
This paper examined the funding sources and requirements of these LGUs and assessed whether current funds and mechanisms are responsive to their needs and plans. Using secondary data made available by national and local governments, key informant interviews and focus group discussions in 10 municipalities, the paper showed that LDRRMF is insufficient to meet the needs of LGUs whose overall budgets are too low to address multiple disaster risks. In some cases, budget utilization is low due to the LGU’s weak absorptive and technical capacity, spending priorities, inability to plan and implement long-term DRRM programs and projects such as infrastructure, and lengthy documentary requirements and processes in procurement. Absorptive capacity concerns the quality of institutions and policies, from formal laws, regulations to informal structures and incentives which shape the behavior of politicians and local bureaucrats (Overseas Development Institute, 2004).
Other sources of financial and non-financial assistance from national government agencies, international and local non-government institutions, bilateral partners and the private sector are available to augment the LDRRMF. However, the lack of capacity hinders access to these additional resources. Most of these LGUs have to fully organize their LDRRM Councils and LDRRM offices, and build the capacity of LDRRM officers, who in most cases have multiple roles and functions, to plan, prioritize and implement. The support of local chief executives is critical in moving DRRM plans forward.
The study recommends the following: a) explore possibilities on the use of LDRRMF for salaries of a dedicated LDRRM Officer and staff, and conduct further studies on exempting the LDRRMO position under the Local Government’s salary cap particularly in low-income, high-risk LGUs; b) prioritize construction of Operations Center, LDRRM Offices and evacuation centers to resolve the gap in the state of infrastructure and equipage among LGUs; c) build capacity on program development, management and procurement; d) establish a system that enables the national government to harmonize and simplify requirements and process to access additional funds; and, e) support dialogues between national and local governments to improve policy guidelines.
Keywords: disaster risk reduction and management, capacity building, planning, local governance, local finance, disaster fund, local investment, disaster finance
JEL Classification: H20, H21, E6, R51
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation