Date added: September 19, 2017

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When Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines in 2013, a number of national and local government tools, platforms and mechanisms were put in place to support the coordination of national government efforts to respond to the disaster. Many of them are web-based and accessible to the public. Some are specific to disaster risk reduction, while others are more general.

This research assesses these tools, platforms and mechanisms in terms of how well they supported - and continue to support - the accountability and transparency of government interventions during disaster responses in the Philippines. It also looks at how these accountability can be further enhanced and replicated vertically and horizontally to help ensure that accountability and transparency are observed principles during all disaster responses.

The report highlights how disempowered affected communities felt during and after Haiyan, because of the lack of a strong accountability mechanism that would enable them to communicate and assert their needs. Consequently, their participation and ‘voice’ in the crafting of accountability tools, platforms and mechanisms used were minimal, if not completely absent.

The authors recommend that the Philippines creates an 'accountability during disasters' framework that will allow government and non-government agencies to apply the necessary revisions in current policies that will improve the delivery of their services during and after future disaster events. It is important for the national Disaster Risk Reduction Management (DRRM) agencies to involve local government units, community leaders and community-based DRRM organisations in the development of this framework, to ensure that communities’ voices are heard and integrated into this.

Specifically, the authors call for amendments to the Republic Act 10121 (which provides the legal basis and mandate for local government accountability pertaining to disaster risk reduction). The authors' recommendations suggest that the Act's implementing rules and regulations should include:

  • a clear definition of what accountability to disaster-affected population is
  • concrete mechanisms to ensure accountability to disaster-affected communities at various levels
  • details of who will implement the checks and balances of all humanitarian agencies and actors providing disaster relief and services to affected populations.


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