30 SEPTEMBER 2020, MANILA—To mark another milestone in building the disaster resilience of the Philippines, the Office of Civil Defense Capacity Building and Training Service (OCD-CBTS) and the Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation (PDRF) launched the Public Service Continuity Planning (PSCP) Guidebook, the country’s first-ever handbook on continuity planning for the public sector.

During the virtual event that was attended by almost 900 participants, the group presented a tour of the guidebook, which contains the following sections: an overview of PSCP, its legal and policy bases, and its evolution in the Philippines; formulation of the public service continuity plan; PSCP forms and templates; and frequently asked questions and resources. Providing a step-by-step guide on developing public service continuity plans that are essential to ensuring that key government services and functions continue before, during, and after disasters, the guidebook serves as a standard reference document for government offices and local government units.

“We hope that everyone will join us in this campaign to build preparedness and resilience and consider this activity as an expression of our strong desire to continue nurturing public service excellence—a testament of our commitment to the Filipino people. After this launching activity, we hope to see the growing and complete compliance of the entire bureaucracy to the PSCP requirements, thereby ensuring that our people will continue to receive vital services in times of emergency,” said OCD Administrator and National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) Executive Director Undersecretary Ricardo Jalad.

PSCP champions, including Department of Science & Technology Secretary Fortunato Dela Peña, Department of the Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año, and Department of Social Welfare and Development Secretary Rolando Joselito Bautista, also shared messages of support for the launch. Immediately after the event, the PSCP Guidebook was also made available online via PDRF’s iADAPT and OCD’s DRRM Knowledge Center as part of the group’s advocacy to make disaster preparedness tools such as PSCP more accessible to the public.

“No institution is immune from disruption, and we need to strengthen our organizations so that they are ready for anything. This is particularly important today during the pandemic when the routine of everyday life has been drastically altered. Even showing up for work to serve the public becomes an act of courage. It is crucial for government departments to continue to perform their essential functions during this complex and protracted emergency,” said PDRF President Butch Meily.

Since 2017, PDRF has been an active partner of OCD in the formulation and updating of the NDRRMC agency members’ public service continuity plans. Through PDRF’s technical assistance, a standard Public Service Continuity Plan format was developed for all government agencies in 2018. That same year, NDRRMC issued the NDRRMC Memorandum No. 33 s. 2018, enjoining all government member agencies of the DRRM councils at all levels and other government departments, offices, bureaus, services, units, and instrumentalities to develop their own PSCP.