The structure of Civil Defence Organization in Thailand

Available data effective on 25 June 2002

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Civil Defence Management in Thailand comprises 3 levels as follows :

1. National level - The National Civil Defence Committee (NCDC) chaired by the Minister of Interior is responsible for formulating policy on disaster management and prevention. Members of the Committee come from various departments and ministries.
The Minister of Interior is the Director of Civil Defense while the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Interior is the Vice-Director of Civil Defence.
The government agency which is designated as Civil Defence Secretariat (CDS) is the Department of Local Administration. It is one of several departments belonging to the Ministry of Interior. The Director-General of Department of Local Administration concurrently holds the position of Director of Civil Defence Secretariat.

2. Provincial level - The Provincial Governor is designated as Director of Provincial Civil Defence Office while District Chief Officer is designated as Director of District Civil Defence Office at district level.

3. Local level - The Mayor of Municipality is concurrently the Municipal Civil Defence Director.

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The management of disaster relief operation during emergency time

The main actors during emergency time are Provincial Governor and District Chief Officers. They are government officials belonging to the Ministry of Interior. Disaster relief operations is carried out by relevant government agencies and NGOS, private sector at provincial and district levels. The Provincial Governor and District Chief Officer coordinate disaster relief activities of various agencies both civilian and military as well as the NGOs and private sector who carry out their tasks in the province and district jurisdictions. The Provincial governor as Provincial Civil Defence  Director and District Chief officer are authorized by the Civil Defence Act 1979 to mobilized public and private resource for disaster response during time of emergency , except the military resource which can not be mobilized by Civil Defence Directors of each level of administration. To mobilized military resource for disaster response, the Civil Defence Director will make assistance request to the commander of military unit in the provincial jurisdiction who normally cooperates with the Civil Defence Directors of the Province, Districts or Municipalities.

The Civil Defence Secretariat (CDS) at national level is in charge of directing and giving support to Provincial Governor and District Chief Officers of the disaster stricken area. The CDS will intervene only in case of emergency that goes beyond the capacity of province to control the situation. The Minister of Interior in his capacity as Director of National Civil Defence office can designate any specific area as dangerous zone according to article 40 of the Civil Defence Act 1979 A.D. The provincial governor in his capacity as Director of Provincial Civil Defence Office can declare the forbidden area which is designated as "dangerous zone 'to prohibit the people to enter into that area until he considers that the danger has already ended. But he has to report this matter to the Minister of Interior.

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Disaster prevention measures taken by Civil Defence Secretariat. (CDS)

The Civil Defence Secretariat of the National Civil Defense Committee of Thailand is not entrusted with the responsibility to carry out structural measures to prevent the occurrence of disaster or to mitigate its effect. Therefore, most of CDS's activities involve with launching campaign to raise disaster awareness among the people and carrying out relief operations during emergency time to rescue victims of disaster and to alleviate their immediate sufferings. Further more, CDS is responsible for coordinating rehabilitation activities of various agencies involved with the rehabilitation of disaster-stricken areas.

The organization structure of the Civil Defence Division is shown in the next page. Apart from its headquarter in Bangkok , the Civil Defence Division also has 4 Regional Civil Defence Command Centers to provide technical assistance for provinces , districts and municipalities in dealing with disaster response and mitigation. Moreover , according to the Civil Defence Act of 1979 A.D. private properties or civilian resources may be mobilized by the Directors of Civil Defence of the province , district or municipality respectively.

In normal time, Directors of Civil Defence at every level of administration from Minister of Interior as Director as National Civil Defence downward to Mayor of Municipality as Municipal or Local Civil Defence Director will be responsible for the management of disaster. But in war-time or emergency situation concerning terrorist acts or security of the nation, the Military will step in to take charge directly while civilian will be assigned to supportive role.

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Regional Civil Defence Command Centers

There are 4 Regional Civil Defence Command Centers as follows.

1. The Northern Regional Civil Defence Command Center which is based at Doi Saket District, Chiang Mai province
2. The Northeastern Regional Civil Defence Command Center which is based at the Muang District (principal district), Hon Kaen province.
3. The Upper Southern Regional Civil Defence Command Center which is based at the Muang District (principal district) , Surat Thani province.
4. The Lower Southern Regional Civil Defence Command Center which is based at Hat Yai District, Songkhla province.

Each Regional Civil Defence Command Center is administered by a chief. For the central region of Thailand, the headquarter of Civil Defence Division functions as the Central Regional Civil Defence Command Center with the Director of Civil DefenceDivision himself is in charge as Chief of the Central Regional Civil Defence Command Center.

Each Deputy Director-General of Department of Local Administration (DOLA) is designated by the Director-General of DOLA to be in charge of supervising and monitoring the performance of each Regional Civil Defence Command Center as follows :

1. The Northern Regional Civil Defence Command Center which is responsible for coordinating with 17 provinces of Northern region is under the supervision
of the Deputy Director-General of DOLA, Local Affairs.
2. The Northeastern Regional Civil Defence Command Center which is responsible for coordinating with 19 provinces of Northeastern region is under the supervision of the Deputy Director-General of DOLA , General Affairs.
3. The Upper Southern Regional Civil Defence Command Center which is responsible for coordinating with 7 provinces of Upper Southern region is under the supervision of the Deputy Director-General of DOLA, Special Affairs.
4. The Lower Southern Regional Civil Defence Command Center which is responsible for coordinating with 7 provinces of Lower Southern region is under the supervision of the Deputy Director-General of DOLA, Special Affairs.

For the central region of Thailand covering 15 provinces (11 provinces in the great basin of Chao Phraya River and 4 provinces in the Eastern Seaboard Region bordering the South China Sea and Cambodia), there is no Regional Civil Defence Command Center inexistence at all. But the office of Civil Defence Division of DOLA is directly responsible for coordinating with the 15 provinces of this region. The Deputy Director-General of DOLA who is in charge of supervising the performance of the Civil Defence Division in coordinating with 15 provinces of central region is the Deputy Director-General of DOLA, Provincial Affairs. The chief of each Regional Civil Defence Command Center holds the position equivalent to chief of subdivision of Civil Defence Division.

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The chain of command of Civil Defence Affairs of Department of Local Administration

The designation of each Deputy Director-General of Department of Local Administration (DOLA)
to be in charge of supervising the performance of each Regional Civil Defence Command Center
of Civil Defence Division of DOLA

The Regional Civil Defence Command Center in each region has the same organization structure. The administrator of the Regional Civil Defence Command Center is immediate subordinate of the Director of Civil Defence Division of DOLA. The status of chief of Regional Civil Defence Command Center is equivalent to chief of Subdivision in the headquarter of Civil Defence Division which is based in Bangkok. The Director of Civil Defence Division concurrently performs the duty as Chief of Central Regional Civil Defence Command Center while the office of Civil Defence Division serves as Central Regional Civil Defence Command Center. These centers are in fact subsidiaries of the Civil Defence Division

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Organization Structure of Civil Defence Division (Headquarter, Bangkok based)

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The functions of Civil Defence Secretariat (or Civil Defence Division of DOLA) on Disaster Prevention and Preparedness

The Civil Defence Secretariat (CDS) is the coordinating agency for the disaster relief operations and implementation of countermeasures against
disaster throughout Thailand. Its main tasks are as follows :

1. Improving the National Civil Defence Master Plan with the aim to
- clearly determining the jurisdiction and scope of responsibility of agencies concerned in each stage of disaster management
- strengthening coordination and cooperation between departments and agencies involved with Disaster Prevention and Preparedness activities.
- developing the capabilities of disaster-related organization on disaster prevention and preparedness.
- improving communication systems for early warning and information dissemination and relief operations.
- cooperation with NGOs and the public for disaster mitigation and preparedness activities

2. Implementing public awareness on disaster preparedness activities with the emphasis on early warning system for typhoon and flood

3. disseminating information on disaster to the residents of disaster prone areas

4. organizing seminars, meetings, workshops, training courses as follows :
- training course for trainers on disaster prevention and relief operation of municipality and Pattaya city.
- training course for basic and experienced firemen of municipality and Pattaya city.

5. Scrutinizing and approving the budget requests submitted by provinces and districts affected by disaster for the rehabilitation of infrastructure and
normalization of the lives of inhabitants of disaster-stricken areas before submitting them further to the National Budget Bureau for reimbursement of those projects.

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     Staff members of National Civil Defence Secretariat

Available data effective on 25 June 2002

Contact person - Mr. Sompot Kongrod ,Chief of External Relations Section
Tel : 66-2-282-5636-7 , 281-1863
Fax : 66-2-282-5636 , 281-1863

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