BONTOC, Mountain Province – The Mountain Province Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council is this year’s third best provincial performing council in the country.
Governor Bonifacio Lacwasan, Jr. and PDRRM head Edward Chumawar, Jr. led the provincial delegation in receiving the award last Monday at the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council office last Monday.
More popularly known as the KALASAG award, the annual search aims to recognize the performance of local disaster councils, volunteer organizations, and communities as stakeholders in implementing disaster risk management projects and activities and in providing humanitarian assistance to affected communities.
The term KALASAG was coined from the Filipino term for shield which was used by our forefathers in protecting themselves from enemy attacks.
A guideline outlined by the national search committee headed by the Department of Interior and Local Government bares that national awardees have to undergo screening at various levels. A provincial council needs to be assessed and recommended by the regional search team. Only one provincial council shall be recommended per region.
Chumawar said that before being adjudged as the region’s best performing council this year, the province was second behind Apayao last year.
The annual search is guided by a set of principles which include stakeholders’ participation, innovativeness, partnership, self-reliance and spirit of volunteerism.
In his acceptance speech, Lacwasan thanked the countless individuals who volunteered their time and effort during times of emergencies. “My acceptance and receipt of this award would be not be complete without paying tribute to the many gallant men and women who have made this a reality – the people who volunteered their time and effort and for pooling whatever material support they could give in times when these are most needed. The small financial allocation for the office is comparatively small but the cooperation of these countless people allowed us to go beyond what is expected,” the governor said.
The governor recounted that the province usually gets isolated during typhoons because of landslides along the main thoroughfares. But because of the cooperation and volunteerism of the people, traffic could easily be restored.
He said that with the oneness and cooperation demonstrated by the various government agencies, sectors and the community people, he is optimistic that the province could always rise up amidst all kinds of disasters.