Partnership towards disaster- resilient Cordillera

“I sincerely thank you members of the Cordillera Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (CRDRRMC) for your dedication and hard work in making everything a workable and achievable tool for progress. Indeed, we are enhancing disaster resilience though partnerships,” said Office of Civil Defense–Cordillera Regional Director and CDRRMC Chairperson Albert Mogol.
2019 CRDRRMC efforts at a glance
The OCD–CAR led other CRDRRMC member agencies in a formulation workshop for the Cordillera Regional Disaster Response Plans, one each for Hydro–meteorological hazards, human – induced hazards and for managing the consequences of earthquake-related incidents.
Along with the Regional DRRM Plan and the Rapid Emergency Telecoms Team Handbook, the Cordillera now has five operational plans tailor-fitted for the needs of the region.
To look into the DRRM efforts and programs at the provincial level, OCD–CAR also ventured in a regional DRRM Caravan. In the provinces of Abra, Apayao, Benguet, Ifugao, Kalinga and Mountain Province, OCD with the provincial and municipal DRRM council officials conducted joint CRDRRMC and Provincial DRRM meetings and discussed DRR–related programs, updates, issues and concerns.
In September 2019, OCD-CAR also led the first Regional Resilience Summit in Cordillera and brought together key stakeholders to tackle pressing issues, and learn from good practices that mitigated risks and improved resilience in communities.
For capacity building initiatives for stakeholders, a total of 15 sectors with 586 individuals were provided with DRRM training and learning initiatives. For civil defense enhancement programs, two capacity building initiatives participated in by 87 volunteers of various organizations were implemented by OCD as of the end of November.
OCD–CAR also led the provision of a total of 59 technical assistance benefitting 2,167 individuals in the region, on top of the regular programs and training initiatives being implemented by various members of the Cordillera RDRRMC.
The CRDRRMC also conducted 24 disaster management operations relative to the observance and monitoring of planned events, high-density population gathering activities and weather disturbances in the region.
Four regional evacuation centers were completed in the Cordillera- in Luna, Apayao; Dolores, Abra; Tabuk City, Kalinga and in La Trinidad, Benguet. Four other RECS are under construction in the provinces of Abra, Ifugao, Kalinga and Mountain Province.
In recognition of the importance of convergence and the whole-of-society approach in dealing with various issues and concerns, the Cordillera RDRRMC also forged and created various inter-agency task groups with the aim to harmonize response efforts towards one goal..
Among these are the Task Group Kennon for safe and efficient movement of road users along Kennon Road; Inter-agency Task Group on Strict Monitoring and Advocacy on Emerging /Re-emerging Diseases and other Health Concerns, and Inter-agency Task Force for the Reduction of Fire Incidents and Effects of El Nino Phenomenon in CAR for preventive and immediate measures aginst forest fires.
For the regional Gawad Kalasag, an annual search for excellence in disaster risk reduction and humanitarian assistance, a total of 22 entries joined the search. After desk and field validation by the Regional Screening Committee, eight entries were endorsed to the National Selection Committee of which five made it as national finalists.
These are the University of the Cordilleras; Epiphany Christian Academy; Mountain Province PDRRMC; the La Trinidad Municipal DRRMC, and Jake Belino of the Tactical Operations Group 1 of the Philippine Air Force for special recognition.
La Trinidad MDRRMC eventually won first place for the first to third class municipality category in the national Gawad Kalasag search while Mountain Province, UC and Epiphany were in the top three for the Provincial, Higher Educational Institution and Elementary Private School categories, respectively.
Belino also received special recognition in the 21st Gawad Kalasag Awarding Ceremony held at the Philippine International Convention Center last December 6.
Ways forward
CRDRRMC chairperson and OCD–CAR Regional Director Albert Mogol calls for a continuing partnership in building safer and resilient communities in the Cordillera this 2020.
He is pushing for the strengthening of regional resources based on the existing regional risk profile; in the accomplishment of all programs and projects reflected in the Cordillera Regional DRRM Plan; the forging and strengthening partnerships between and among DRRM key-stakeholders in the region; empowering the regional and local DRRMCs in the region through various capacity building initiatives and improving their morale and welfare and for them to become resilience champions in their respective communities. **JDP/CCD-PIA CAR

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