Developing the Philippines as a global hub for disaster risk reduction – A health research initiative as presented at the 10th Philippine national health research system week celebration

Nicola Banwell*, Jaime Montoya, Merlita Opeña, Carel Ijsselmuiden, Ronald Law, Gloria J. Balboa, Shannon Rutherford, Cordia Chu, Virginia Murray

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The recent Philippine National Health Research System (PNHRS) Week Celebration highlighted the growing commitment to Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) in the Philippines. The event was lead by the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology and the Department of Health, and saw the participation of national and international experts in DRR, and numerous research consortia from all over the Philippines. With a central focus on the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, the DRR related events recognised the significant disaster risks faced in the Philippines. They also illustrated the Philippine strengths and experience in DRR. Key innovations in science and technology showcased at the conference include the web-base hazard mapping applications ‘Project NOAH’ and ‘FaultFinder’. Other notable innovations include ‘Surveillance in Post Extreme Emergencies and Disasters’ (SPEED) which monitors potential outbreaks through a syndromic reporting system. Three areas noted for further development in DRR science and technology included: integrated national hazard assessment, strengthened collaboration, and improved documentation. Finally, the event saw the proposal to develop the Philippines into a global hub for DRR. The combination of the risk profile of the Philippines, established national structures and experience in DRR, as well as scientific and technological innovation in this field are potential factors that could position the Philippines as a future global leader in DRR. The purpose of this article is to formally document the key messages of the DRR-related events of the PNHRS Week Celebration. The Australian Department of Education and Training, by virtue of the Endeavour Postgraduate Scholarship, has provided Nicola Banwell, PhD Candidate of the Centre for Environment and Population Health, Griffith University, with financial support to conduct research through the Health Emergency Management Bureau of the Philippine Department of Health as part of her PhD thesis. Nicola is a visiting PhD student at the Philippine Department of Health, one of the core agencies of the Philippine National Health Research System. The Department of Education and Training had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. Authors from the PCHRD involved in organising the 10th annual PNHRS Week event assisted in the editing of this manuscript.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPLoS Currents
Issue numberDisasters
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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