With the aim to educate Cordilleran communities on using protective mechanism sand actions available to save lives and protect people’s livelihood during emergencies and disasters, the Office of Civil Defense Cordillera (OCD-CAR) piloted the first Community-based Resilience Caravan in the region.The caravan was held on March 27, 2018 in Bontoc, Mt Province where more than 100 residents from 16 barangays in the said town joined the activity. Among the participants are community and student leaders.
With the help of Mt Province Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office(MPDRRMO), the one-day caravan was successfully conducted. OCD-CAR Operations Chief Ferdinand Tamulto delivered lectures on Philippine DRRM System and some basic concepts on hydro-meteorological hazards. While Kapitan Alerto, the province’s version of the action icon of disaster preparedness, taught the participants on the Emergency Survival Kit or Go Bag and its significance, and some fundamentals of first aid. A fire officer from Bontoc Municipal Fire Station also shared his knowledge on fire suppression. First Aid
Kits were also given to all attendees.Farmers and rural workers actively participate in practical activities during the DRRM training at Strawberry Valley Hotel, La Trinidad, Benguet.
Governor Bonifacio C. Lacwasan Jr. graced the caravan and in his message, he emphasized on the importance of such endeavor for the people to prepare for,respond to, and recover from the effects of disasters.“This is indeed very important in as far as enhancing public awareness on disaster risk reduction and management is concern. I do believe that one of the reasons why the impact of disasters to people is so devastating because of the lack of knowledge and lack of preparedness among the affected residents. I am very happy that this activity was pushed through and that our people were given learning opportunity,gained skills and information.” remarked Gov. Lacwasan.
The week after the first ever caravan in the Cordilleras, OCD-CAR spearheads another activity. Farmers and rural workers from different municipalities in Benguet joined the DRRM training course on April 4, 2018.Leonardo Liwan Antonio, President of the Irrigators Association in Bakun, Benguet,expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to learn.“To help my community through this training, I will inform my co-farmers on what todo when a disaster takes place. This course is very noteworthy because in real life,we are on our own when calamity strikes” he added.
DRRM concepts and mechanisms were comprehensively explained by experts:hydromet hazards by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Service Administration (PAGASA) Baguio Synoptic Station; and geological hazards by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB).Local DRRM Officers from Benguet also imparted their knowledge on DRRM system and some of their experiences as local counterparts on disaster management.“Our goal at the national level is not just to minimize the casualties during and after disasters, but to make it 0% if it is possible. One of the reasons why we want this information to be disseminated in the smallest communities in our society is for the people to be alert in preparing when a disaster occurs”. said Mr. Yoshio Labi, LaTrinidad Municipal DRRM officer.
By: Lyndon Ali and Zaldy de Guzman, interns