Newsfeature: PHL adopts Incident Command System for disaster response
ILOILO CITY, May 30 (PIA6) -- The Incident Command System (ICS) will soon be adopted by the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management System.
ICS is a standardized, on-scene, all-hazard incident management concept which allows kits users to adopt an integrated organizational structure to match the complexities and demands of single or multiple incidents without being hindered by jurisdictional boundaries. It is a non-permanent organization and is activated only in response to disasters or emergencies.
Moves towards its use in the Philippines started as early as 2003 when ICS was introduced to the Philippines along with the other member-states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) during the 1st ASEAN Committee on Disaster Management Meeting (ACDM) held in Brunei Darussalam on Dec. 9-19 of that year.
The ASEAN committee adopted the system during the meeting as part of the ASEAN-US Cooperation on Disaster Management Program with focus on ICS Capability Building for the 10 ASEAN Member States.
In her briefing on ICS for members of the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC) members during their recent quarterly meeting here, United States Forest Service (USFS) officer Linda Szczepanik said that ICS addresses some persistent issues and problems arising at the site of a disaster or emergency, including that as to who ought to be in-charge on-site.
This is especially true when the incident involves multi-agency participation, multi-jurisdictional, too many responders, too many people reporting to one supervisor, unclear lines of authority, no check-in procedures for responders, and unclear incident objectives.
The on-scene disaster management tool has proven to be an effective response mechanism which, according to Szczepanik has been used by the United States and a number of other countries including Canada, Mexico, Australia, Bhutan and Sri Lanka.
ICS can be used for any type of disaster and its magnitude as well as for non-emergency situations such as festivals, concerts and conventions. ICS also seeks to secure the safety of responders and other volunteers.
The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) has taken the lead towards the adoption of the ASEAN-US cooperation on disaster management with focus on ICS in the country after the 2003 ASEAN meeting.
Among the initial activities was the introduction of ICS to selected NDCC, now the NDRRMC, members agencies including the training of trainors, followed by ICS inception workshop, ICS instructor development and related trainings.
Moves to have ICS in the country gained more foothold when Republic Act No. 10121 or the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010 was enacted and provides among others for the establishment of the system as part of the countryâ€™s disaster response system to ensure the effective consequence management of disasters and emergencies.
As part of the move to institutionalize ICS in the country, NDRRMC Executive Director and Office of Civil Defense (OCD) Administrator Undersecretary Benito T. Ramos has issued a memorandum order prescribing the implementing guidelines on the use of the ICS as an on-scene disaster response and management mechanism under the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management System.
Based on the briefing made by USFS officer Szczepanik, ICS is now becoming the common international language of disaster response.
In the Philippines, it will help attain the goal of the government disaster risk reduction and management program to save lives and create resilient communities. (JCM/JSC/PIA6)
Number of Comments: 0