BAGUIO CITY – Ten local governments and private organizations regionwide are recipients of the 2016 regional Gawad KALASAG (Kalamidad at Sakuna Labanan Sariling Galing ang Kaligtasan) for their exemplary performance in disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM) and climate change adoption in their respective fields of expertise.
The awards were personally handed to the awardees by Deputy Administrator Christopher James Purisima of the Office of Civil Defence (OCD) and OCD-CAR Regional Director Andrew Alex Uy during the awarding ceremonies held at the CAP John Hay Trade and Cultural Center Wednesday afternoon.
Apayao was adjudged the best provincial disaster risk reduction and management council while Mountain Province placed second in the same category.
For the city level, the Baguio City disaster risk reduction and management council bested other cities in the region for the coveted award.
In the first to third class municipality category, La Trinidad led by Mayor Romeo Salda placed first in the best municipal disaster risk reduction and management council with Luna, Apayao led by Major Josephine Bangsil placing second while Tublay headed by Mayor Armando Lauro emerged the best municipal disaster risk reduction council for the fourth to sixth class municipality.
The University of the Cordilleras (UC) was the runaway winner for the best school urban category for the third consecutive year while the Baguio-Benguet Public Information and Civic Action Group (BBPICAG) was adjudged the best volunteer group private category.
For the best government emergency management team, the Tuba fire station emerged the winner for the second straight year while the Baguio City Emergency Medical Services landed second in the same category.
Aside from the giant trophies, the first place winners received separate checks amounting to P50,000 each while the second place winners received P30,000 each.
Further, the OCD-CAR also recognized the significant contributions of its DRRM partners through the DRRM Commitment Award individual category which were handed to Nerissa Barbosa, Benguet DRRM Coordinator for DepEd; Abner Lawangen, Tublay MDRRMO; Erosbon Sabedo, Licuan-Baay MDRRMO; Atty. Edward Chumawar, PDRRMO; Yoshio Labi, La Trinidad MDRRMO and PSSUPT Angelito Casimiro, PROCOR Deputy for Operations.
On the other hand, the OCD-CAR also issued citations to its DRRM partners that resulted in the successful implementation of plans and programs before, during and after the onslaught of Super Typhoon Lawin in the region and the citations were issued to the 503rd Infantry Brigade of the Philippine Army; 50th Infantry Battalion for the province of Kalinga; 54th Infantry Battalion for the provinces of Ifugao, Benguet incl Baguio city, & Mt Province; 24th Infantry Battalion for the province of Abra; 17th Infantry Battalion for the province of Apayao; Tactical Operations Group 1 (Philippine Airforce); Tactical Operations Group 2 (Philippine Airforce); Police Regional Office Cordillera; PROCOR – RPSB; Philippine Information Agency – CAR; Department of Public Works and Highways – CAR; National Telecommunications Commission – CAR; Department of Education – CAR; SM City Baguio; Commission on Higher Education – CAR; Department of Agriculture – CAR; Department of Health – CAR; Department of Environment and Natural Resources; Bureau of Fire Protection – CAR; PAGASA Baguio Weather Station; GLOC 215; Kabalikat; 911 On Call; SMART Telecommunications; DICT; BENECO; DILG-CAR; DSWD-CAR; NEDA-CAR and Movement for Resilience and Rural Development (MRRD).
The Gawad KALASAG award is conferred annually by the OCD-CAR to local governments and private organizations that excel in the implementation of disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation programs vital in empowering communities regionwide to be resilient during times of disasters and emergencies that happen in their places.
Director Uy expressed optimism that more local governments and private organizations will be empowered to join the Gawad KALASAG awards in the future because of the successful implementation of the initiative regionwide.
By Dexter A. See