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NOV. 16, 2022

Authorities present Senapred, the new service that will replace Onemi

Interior Minister Carolina Tohá gave details about the new institutional framework that will come into effect from next January 1. She also took the opportunity to thank Onemi Director Ricardo Toro, who will leave his position after ten years. 

Minister Carolina Tohá has announced the closure of the National Emergency Office (Onemi), which will be replaced by a new institution called the National Disaster Prevention and Response Service (Senapred). 

During the ceremony, she explained that this new body will come into operation on January 1, 2023, as part of an institutional change generated under the previous government within Law 21.364, published in August 2021. 

Broadly speaking, this new body incorporates all the progress made on good practices and the lessons learned in recent years. It seeks to update, reinforce, standardize and make binding the progress made to achieve standards of excellence in Disaster Risk Management (DRM), focused on prevention and territoriality. 

It establishes policy, DRM plans, sectoral plans, threat maps, risk maps, the information system, the early warning system – and within it the communications system – as DRM instruments. 

The system is made up of a set of public and private entities with competencies related to the different phases of the disaster risk cycle. They are organized in a decentralized and gradual manner – from the community to the provincial, regional and national level – to guarantee adequate DRM. 

It also includes coordination between the Committees for Disaster Risk Management at the different levels of the state structure. The National Committee will be chaired by the Interior and Public Security Minister. 

Along with the above, it recognizes and defines the Technical Monitoring Bodies as part of the system, with the technical competencies to maintain permanent monitoring of the respective threats. 

This new institutional framework “will improve disaster prevention and response processes to support the Chilean people at the times when they most need the State, reaching standards of excellence in Disaster Risk Management,” Minister Tohá stated. 

Important aspects of the new service 
  • The new service has legal status, and its main functions are to advise, coordinate, organize, plan and supervise activities related to Chile’s DRM. 
  • At the regional level, it is organized into Regional Directorates, with powers and attributions subject to the supervision of the President via the Interior Ministry in coordination with the Interior Undersecretary’s Office. 
  • The Technical and Executive Secretary of the Committees will be active at the national, regional and provincial levels. 
  • A program is created in the service’s budget to compete for the priority financing of DRM instruments in municipalities. 
  • The first and second level of the service’s hierarchy will be attached to the Senior Public Management System, recognizing its strategic importance. 
Goodbye to the director of Onemi

During the event, Minister Tohá highlighted the work carried out by Ricardo Toro as head of Onemi. He will leave his position after ten years of service in the institution. 

Mr. Toro took over as director in 2012, and was endorsed three times following a vote by Senior Public Management. 

During his term, he had to take on important challenges, such as the 2014 Iquique earthquake. He has recently led implementation of the new Law 21.364. 

“The Chilean State is proud to have had a national director with his career, dedication and training. He has been key to strengthening ONEMI as an institution, which has led to the creation of this new service. The new law mandates an institutional change that follows a path based on Disaster Risk Management principles, and that strengthens the excellent work carried out by Onemi, which is well-recognized by our citizens,” Minister Tohá said about Mr. Toro. 

From November 21, Onemi’s deputy director of finance, Mauricio Tapia, will take over as acting director.