During the last quarter of 2020, a series of typhoons made landfall on various islands of the Philippines. The Preparedness Officer contributed to numerous efforts by the national government and international agencies to conduct logistics assessments and identify the response plan. He also supported in coordinating requests by national and sub-national actors for prepositioning and transporting of relief items and logistics equipment as part of their typhoon preparedness and response activities.
Training materials and references to cover topics in Warehouse and Distribution Management, Transport Management, and Operating Emergency Hubs were prepared by the Preparedness Officer, with support from the Global Logistics Cluster Training Unit, for the Humanitarian Logistics Management Training for the Philippines Red Cross. However, the training was eventually postponed to February 2021 due to COVID-19-related movement restrictions and the typhoons.
The Preparedness Officer participated in the review of Structure and Terms of Reference (ToR) of the La Niña Technical Working Group. As an alternate focal point of the Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) Logistics Sectoral Working Group, the Preparedness Officer, together with the World Food Programme (WFP), also spearheaded the ongoing development of plan of action to be undertaken by the Logistics Sectoral Working Group members to ensure cohesion with and support to the National Logistics Cluster’s La Niña plan.
Based on risk indices and national-level logistics performance and capacity indicators, in 2018 Philippines was identified as one of 24 country candidates for the Global Logistics Cluster’s Field-Based Preparedness Project (“the Project”). The primary aim of the Project is to support and empower national actors to strengthen their capacity to prepare for and respond to humanitarian crises. A key element of this is the facilitation of a coordinated approach towards improving the resilience of local humanitarian supply chains and supporting effective information exchange between the government, national actors and the private sector, to ensure all actors are well prepared for joint humanitarian logistics responses. In the event of a large-scale disaster event and should the Government of the Philippines request international humanitarian assistance, the Global Logistics Cluster capacities can support national actors in facilitating a coordinated response.
In October 2019, a Field Preparedness Officer was recruited to commence the process of mapping national logistics capacities and stakeholders. Based on this, he is currently working with national responders to augment information sharing and exchange as well as assisting in the organisation of capacity strengthening initiatives based on identified partner needs.
In 2020, the Philippines experienced several disasters, including typhoons and the Taal Volcano eruption, reaffirming the need for coordinated logistics preparedness actions.