During and after disasters, most efforts are being exerted on rescue operations and management of the living victims while there are minimal attention given to the dead and missing persons. The Philippine Government is recognizing the Management of the Dead and Missing Persons (MDM) as a major component of the over-all Disaster Risk and Reduction Management (DRRM). The retrieval operation of all the dead casualties, identification of the cadavers and final disposal requires an efficient system of coordination between the national government agencies.
In line with this, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) issued a Memorandum Circular in 2016 (MC No. 19.2016) which provides the policies, guidelines, plans and implementation procedures pertaining to all aspects of DRRM including the MDM.
Being the lead agency in MDM and as part of Department of the Interior and Local Government’s networking and collaboration with other agencies concerned, DILG Region 6 called for a workshop on the development of a Regional Protocol on MDM for Hydromet Hazards on Oct. 2, 2018 at Smallville21 Hotel, Iloilo City.
“Malaki ang role ng Local Government Units (LGUs) dito. Today, we will be coming up with a Regional Protocol in the Management of the Dead and Missing Persons (MDM).  I hope that there will be no incident that we need to apply this regional protocol but this is part of our preparation and our efforts in helping LGUs prepare in times of disasters and calamities.” said DILG RD Atty. Anthony C. Nuyda during the workshop.

In attendance are the representatives of member agencies of the NDRRMC including PNP, BFP, NBI, DSWD, DOH, PCG, OCD, AFP and Philippine Red Cross to draft a Regional MDM Protocol as part of their Regional Disaster Response Plan.
DILG has the prime responsibility in planning, monitoring and evaluation of the MDM implementation. The same department also coordinates with the Local Government Units (LGUs) and other concerned agencies in-charged with disaster victim identification, disposition of the dead and management of missing persons and bereaved families. Moreover, the DILG thru the LGUs shall predetermine collection sites for human remains as recommended by the PNP and NBI, and such shall be incorporated in their Contingency Plans.
During the activity, Engr. Joseph Paul Nogra of OCD Region 6 presented the clusters under RDRRMC and overview of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) while Social Worker II Lisa Camacho of DSWD Region 6 presented the National Disaster Response Plan. DSWD is the vice-chairperson of the identified response clusters. These clusters will augment or assume the response operations and each cluster have their own lead agency that will supervise, coordinate and report all activities of their cluster members. CODIX Director Edgar Allan B. Tabell discussed the salient features of NDRRMC No. 19-2016 concentrating on the rules and regulations governing the implementation of the MDM. The activity focused on the workshop facilitated by Mr. Robin Lim of CODIX. The draft regional protocol developed after the workshop will be submitted for approval by the MDM cluster agencies and RDRRMC. (LGOO II Judy Mae T. Magdato, DILG6)