A Policy Study on Disaster Risk Reduction and Management in Guagua, Pampanga and the Inclusion of Persons with Disability (PWDS) in Their Disaster Plans

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Mercado, Joshua Marie G.
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The study describes the current practice of risk communication, warning and response in the Municipality of Guagua, determines if its disaster risk reduction and management plan is consistent with the National Council’s standards, and identifies the gaps in knowledge, capacities, and resources that address the needs of Persons with Disability (PWDs) during disasters. The researcher used a descriptive survey research method where participants were interviewed using survey questionnaires. The main research instrument was adopted from the UNISDR 2013 Survey on Living with Disabilities and Disasters. The questions in the questionnaire were patterned after the objectives of the study. The study population consisted 244 Persons with Disability age 18 and up in Guagua, Pampanga who were randomly selected from the total list. The sample size of 244 was computed using Raosoft sample size calculator. The random numbers were generated using the random number generator in the site “randomizer.org.” The researcher was also able to interview Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Officers, Persons with Disabilities Focal Persons and 31 barangay leaders to represent every barangay in Guagua and show unbiased interpretations in this study age of 42 and are single in status. Most of them have movement disability and could not take care of themselves. They have experienced different disasters such as storms, floods, earthquakes and volcanic eruption. They would often gather information about disasters on the television and sometimes the barangay officials would come to their homes. They have their own disaster preparedness plans but are not aware of the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Council and there is no current protocol, guidelines and warning signals made especially for PWDs. Most of the issues encountered by the respondents are the lack of information, having no space in the evacuation centers and not receiving any relief goods. They are also asking for financial and medical assistance aside from the assistance during disasters and food. On the other hand, the barangay officials and Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office does not have enough knowledge, resources and capacities in handling Persons with Disability during a disaster.
Keywords: Disaster Risk Reduction and Management, Disaster Prevention, Disaster Management, Disaster Mitigation, Disaster Preparedness, Disaster Policy Study, Disaster Response, Disaster Rehabilitation and Recovery, DRRM for PWDs, Persons with Disability, NDRRMF, NDRRMP, PWDs, Vulnerable Group