BAGUIO CITY – The City Government and two support and volunteer groups grabbed the limelight in the regional awards of the Search for Excellence in Disaster Risk Reduction and Management and Humanitarian Assistance popularly known as the Gawad Kalamidad at Sakuna Labanan, Sariling Galing ang Kaligtasan (KALASAG), an annual program of the Office of Civil Defense (OCD).
Andrew Alex Uy, OCD-CAR regional director, revealed the City Government of Baguio was adjudged the best Local Disaster and Risk Reduction and Management Office (LDRRMO) city level category while the Baguio-Benguet Public Information and Civic Action Group (BBPICAG) was chosen as the best volunteer group in the region.
On the other hand, the |Baguio City Emergency Medical Service (BC-EMS) placed second to the Tuba Municipal Fire Station in the best government emergency management service category.
The Baguio-based University of the Cordilleras (UC) was chosen by the regional screening committee as the best school private urban category.
Moreover, the La Trinidad Municipal DRRMO edged the Luna, Apayao Municipal DRRMO in the best LDRRMO municipal category for first to third-class municipalities while Tublay, Benguet was adjudged as the best LDRRMO for fourth to six-class municipalities in the region.
In the provincial level, Apayao bested Mountain Province in the best LDRRMO provincial level category for the regional search.
For this year, Uy noted there were 13 entries in the different categories of the Gawad KALASAG regional awards which is a significant increase from the five entries for the search last year.
However, the OCD-CAR official said only 10 of the 13 entries were qualified for the final screening done by the screening committee that resulted to the identification of the regional winners in the different categories.
Uy expressed his gratitude to the different local governments, support and volunteer groups for sacrificing part of their precious time to complete the requirements to qualify them for the regional search, saying that the increasing number of entries should serve as an inspiration and empowerment to other local governments and similarly situated groups to join the search in the coming years and increase their respective competiveness in terms of disaster risk reduction and management.
He wished the non-winners for this year to sustain their gains in striving for the best in DRRM and humanitarian assistance to qualify them in future regional searches as the accomplishment of the different local governments and groups should not only be for the sake of achieving awards but also in training more people to be resilient in times of disasters to prevent incidents that would pose threats to the lives of people and damage to properties.
By Dexter A. See