Philippine Engineering Journal, Vol 28, No 2 (2007)

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Benito M. Pacheco


The first part of this paper is a situationer for the Philippines in the most recent (2009) UN global assessment report that ranked it among the first 14 of approximately 200 countries and economies whose population is most at risk from earthquakes, cyclones, landslides, and floods. Second is an introduction of DMAPS for Infrastructure, a new (2009) public-private partnership agreement for disaster mitigation, adaptation, and preparedness strategies for infrastructure,involving scientists and engineers in the Philippines; this may be viewed as having evolved from the Philippine Institute of Civil Engineers DMAPS that was first conceptualized five years earlier (2004), and DQRP that was first institutionalized four years even before (2000), both volunteerism programs by Filipino civil engineers. Third and main part is a framework of concepts and terminologies that the author proposes for engineers and scientists to harmonize among themselves and with professionals in finance, medicine, and other disciplines. The author proposes that fundamental issues common to various professional disciplines concerning the management of risk be associated with four general steps of risk management, easily remembered as R-I-S-K: Recognize, Impute an estimate, Survey over time, and Keep inside tolerance range. The particular type of risk needs to be clearly recognized (in step 1 of risk management), before deciding on the ordinal or other level of measure to impute an estimate (in step 2 of risk management). The older paradigm of managing disaster meets the newer paradigm of managingrisk, at the step of surveying the risk over time (in step 3 of risk management), by virtue of the recognition that risk factors do evolve. Risk reduction is cited as the preferred mode of keeping disaster risk inside the tolerance range, yet many risk control modes indeed exist (in step 4 of riskmanagement) from many viewpoints. Highlights of the four steps of the risk management spiral are summarized; ideally, each complete cycle of risk management R-I-S-K brings down the level of uncertainty and reduces the risk. It is proposed that the DMAPS for Infrastructure public-private partnership program be viewed in this framework. In appendices, this paper includes three essays that offer an alternative way of appreciating risk management concepts and terminologies.

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