The Center for Social Concern and Action (COSCA) of the De La Salle University conducted a municipal wide orientation on the integration of Climate Change Adaptation and DRRM to Local Government Unit of Lian, Batangas last October 19, 2012.
Twenty two (22) members of their Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council participated in one-day session facilitated by Ms. Maria Isabel Lanada of DLSU-COSCA and Mr. Alvin Jonson from Municipal Environmental & Natural Resources Office (MENRO).
Mr. Jonson presented scientific studies conducted by De La Salle University College of Science (DLSU-COS) and University of the Philippines (UP) about the impacts of Climate Change in the municipality of Lian, Batangas. According to the researches, the municipality was categorized as high risk in Tsunami in Region IV-A. It also revealed that the area ranks low in its capacities (reduce production of target species in marine and fresh water systems) and therefore there is an urgent need to continue its programs relevant to climate change adaptation and environmental preservation such as mangrove nurseries/planting, tree planting, and ensure the strict compliance and implementation of the Marine Protected Area (MPA).
Municipal Mayor Osita Vergara and Municipal Accountant Genrisa Medrano suggested to MDRRMC to duplicate/replicate its best practices in Coastal Resource Management in Barangay Lumaniag to all coastal barangays in Lian as part of its mitigation program.
Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Officer Randy Oliquino facilitated the orientation on Incident Management System; he presented proposed emergency response management and handling system during disaster. While Chief Laguardia of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) gave orientation and demonstration on fire prevention and fire drills. They also demonstrated various forms of firemen carry to capacitate the members of MDRRMC. In line with this, they also presented how to use the fire extinguisher and what are the various types of fire and tips before during and after fire event.
At the end of the session, Ms. Lanada as the DLSU-DRR Program Coordinator facilitated the discussion in preparation for municipal wide fire and tsunami drill and exercises on November 8-10, 2012, as well as the review of DRR 2012 plan and other pending DRR activities.
Now on its 7th day of operations, the DLSU SAGIP Metro 3 led by the USG and COSCA wishes to extend its appreciation of the efforts provided by the Lasallian community and other individuals/corporations for the generous gifts to the survivors of the flooding. Once again, each one of you has given more substance to the Lasallian Core Values of faith, Service, and Communion in Mission.
Donations in kind have been able to provide enough relief to about 5,948 families in the following partner communities: Caloocan city (3 communities), Malabon ( 1 community), Valenzuela (2 communities), Manila (4 communities), Rodriguez, Rizal (3 communities), San Mateo (1 community), Navotas (5 communities), Pasay City (1 community), and Quezon City (4 communities). In addition, the University was able to provide relief to 131 DLSU faculty members, staff and contractual employees. An average of 600 volunteers daily also participated in the sorting, repacking, loading of these relief packs.
In the next days, relief will be provided to about 4,672 families in selected communities in Lian, Batangas; Bagac, Bataan; Bay Laguna; Pasig City; Manila; and Marikina. DLSU will also continue to provide immediate relief to the additional 101 of its faculty members, staff and contractual personnel.
The Center for Social Concern and Action (COSCA), the social development unit of De La Salle University Manila with Local Government Units of Bagac, Bataan and Lian, Batangas recently conducted a capability building activity designed to enhance the LGU's Disaster Risk Reduction and Management knowledge and skills.
Local chief executives as well as their department heads from the pilot municipalities participated in the said activity last March 20-22, 2012 at the province of Albay. The activity was facilitated by Ms. Isabel Lanada from COSCA.
Albay Governor Joey Salceda and Legazpi Mayor Geraldine Rosal welcomed the 42 participants from Bagac and Lian. The CDRRMC officers of Legazpi City provided input on their DRRM practices. Relevant programs and approaches utilizing social networking platforms, alarm and early warning systems, organization of local Barangay Disaster Risk Reduction Committees and field visits in hazard prone sites were shown and explained to the participants during the 4 day-activity.
By the end of the activity, officials of 2 pilot municipalities expressed the need to bring back to their communities learnings from the event. “Dapat talagang paghandaan at masistematize din sa aming munisipalidad” (there is a need to really prepare and systematize our tasks in our municipality) according to the Mayor of Lian, Batangas Mayor Osita P. Vergara.
On December 15, 2011, Typhoon Sendong (international name: Washi) entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR). By 10:00 PM, the tropical storm maintained its strength and moved towards the Northeastern Mindanao and Eastern Visayas. Consequently, the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) declared a Public Storm Signal No. 2 in Visayas and Mindanao, while Signal No. 1 in several parts of Luzon. According to the Situation Report No. 5 released by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) three (3) days after the incident, massive deluge came about in Regions VI, VII, IX, X, XI, and CARAGA. Concurrently, the hardest hit provinces were Cagayan de Oro and Iligan City. The initial damaged assessment and report of NDRRMC released on December 18, 2011 revealed that the total number of families affected/internally displaced was 19, 234 or approximately 106,476 individuals. Likewise, there were reported cases of people missing, injured, rescued, and killed. On December 20, 2011, President Benigno S. Aquino III declared a State of National Calamity through Proclamation No. 303. Subsequently, donations from the international community, through the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA), were accepted. This declaration propelled an overwhelming support, both from the national and international community. Based on the official report from the NDRRMC dated January 4, 2012, the total number of population affected in 260 barangays/30 municipalities/8 cities in 13 provinces reached 114,288 families or 724,729 individuals. Similarly, the number of deaths recorded was 1,275, while 4,658 were badly injured, 98 were missing, and 441 were rescued respectively. Also, the report underscores that majority of those that were killed were women and children who were drowned when the river swelled in Cagayan de Oro. Concurrently, a great number of victims came from the nearby areas such as Iligan City and the rest of the provinces in the South, which includes Zamboanga del Norte and Compostela Valley. Given the magnitude of the disaster, thousands of people flocked into different temporary shelters. The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) highlighted in their January 3, 2012 Situation Report that the humanitarian needs and concerns of the evacuees include: (1) more conducive temporary shelters; (2) water, sanitation, and hygiene; (3) food security; (4) logistics; (5) protection, including child protection and gender-based violence; (6) education; (7) health, including reproductive health; and, (8) proper nutrition among others. Propelled by the situation and the Lasallian Guiding Principles (LGP), the De La Salle Philippines (DLSP) met on December 19, 2011 at the La Salle Greenhills to plan the One-La Salle response to the magnitude of the disaster. Each La Salle schools were asked to send representative(s) to the meeting. Ms. Ma Lourdes F. Melegrito, the Director of the Center for Social Concern and Action (COSCA) of the De La Salle University - Manila who also sits at the National Coordinator of the Lasallian Justice and Peace Commission (LJPC), spearheaded the aforementioned meeting. Likewise, the following were present during the meeting: Eden Batad (De La Salle Philippines), Jayjay N. Jacinto (De La Salle Zobel), Melchor A. Oribe (De La Salle Canlubang), Aliver Antiqueno (De La Salle Greenhills), Rio Ramos (De La Salle University Dasmarinas), Isabel Balana (De La Salle University), Joseph Rosal (De La Salle University), Terteen Omana (De La Salle University), Benigno Balgos (De La Salle University), Alex Resurrecion (LSGH Alumni), Violeta Ramirez, and Nolo Rosales (Volunteer). One of the main achievements of the meeting was the release of the Official Letter from DLSP calling for community assistance in mobilizing resources for the relief operation as the country grappled with another devastation brought about by Typhoon Sendong, particularly in Iligan City and Cagayan de Oro. In the meeting, it was agreed upon that the assistance would be directed first to the La Salle Academy in Iligian City where many of the teachers, staffs, and students were badly affected. The following day, the One La Salle effort for Oplan Sagip Mindanao was able to send cash donations to respond to the immediate needs of the evacuees. Each La Salle schools called upon their respective constituents to contribute and share whatever they can (relief items, money) to the response. And as a result of the overwhelming response from the community, starting December 20, 2011 up to the present, the Oplan Sagip Mindanao of DLSP was able to send consideration quantity of relief items to the people affected by the disaster. Through the united efforts of the De La Salle Schools, the following had been delivered, particularly in Iligan City, to the victims of Typhoon Sendong: December 20, 2011 (Tuesday) Items Quantity Clothes 62 sacks + 4 boxes Blankets 4 bundles Water 42 boxes Sardines 5 boxes Noodles 13 boxes Biscuits 4 cans Toiletries 1 bag The goods were brought through the Philippine Navy Headquarters along Roxas Boulevard. Meanwhile, the shipment was made possible through the help of the Philippine Navy, the Philippine Army, and Pauline De Lange, a student of DLSU. December 22, 2011 (Thursday) Items Quantity Clothes 133 sacks Bottled Water 71 boxes Food/Clothes c/o DLSU 32 boxes The Goods were brought to Iligan City through the help of Sea Freight c/o Super Ferry and Pauline De Lange. December 23, 2011 via Air 21 (Morning) Items Quantity Used clothes 57 boxes, 174 sacks, 3 boxes Mattresses 5 pieces Blankets 35 big plastic bags Water 39 boxes Noodles 76 boxes Canned Goods 45 boxes Biscuits 21 boxes Rice 14 sacks Blankets 48 bundles All the goods were brought from Manila to La Salle Academy via door-to-door delivery. December 26, 2011 via NN-ATS (Aboitiz) Items Quantity Blankets 42 bundles Rice 14 sacks Assorted Goods 15 boxes Used Clothes 295 sacks Cup Noodles 40 boxes Used Bed Sheets 200 pieces All the goods were brought from Manila to La Salle Academy via door-to-door delivery. December 27, 2011 via Sulpicio Lines Items Quantity Clothes 96 sacks Water 40 boxes, 12 bottles, and 3 packs Noodles 12 boxes Biscuits 4 boxes, 1 pale Blankets/Towels 14 boxes Kitchen utensils 2 boxes Canned goods 5 boxes Through Negros Navigation (San Rafael Cargo Ship) Items Quantity Rice 10 sacks and 1 box Canned goods 18 boxes Water 17 boxes Shoes/bags/hats 5 boxes Blankets 8 boxes Diapers 6 boxes Medicines 1 boxes Utensils 2 boxes Mattress 1 piece Clothes 50 sacks Goods to be delivered on January 6, 2012 Items Quantity Clothes 73 sacks Blankets/towels 3 sacks and 23 boxes Rice 4 sacks Water 62 boxes Canned goods 3 boxes Noodles 19 boxes Medicines 23 boxes Toiletries 17 boxes Biscuits 8 boxes Shoes 10 boxes and 2 sacks Slippers 4 sacks and 1 box Diapers 5 sacks These will be delivered through a one 10-foot container courtesy of Negros Navigation. Likewise, Ms. Rio Ramos from De La Salle Dasmarinas and Ms. Violeta Ramirez of De La Salle Lipa, and Jayjay Jacinto of De La Salle Zobel notified DLSP that they sent donations to the La Salle Academy. Based on the reports of the La Salle Academy Disaster Response Committee, as of January 3, 2012, the relief items sent to Iligian City were able to help 11,266 families in thirty (30) communities. The goods were delivered through the assistance of the Philippine Army truck and private individuals. Likewise, with the support of the Alumni, the school was able to undertaken medical and dental services to the evacuees. Concurrently, relief packs had been given to the family members of De La Salle University staffs (from the Human Resource Development and Management Office, Accounting Office, and Safety and Security Office) who were victims of the typhoon. On January 5, 2012, a meeting at the De La Salle University was held for updates, both at the situation in Iligan and the DLSP relief operations. Among those present in the aforementioned meeting were: Fr. Luke Moortgat, Myra C. Magno, Bong Quiamno Jr., Ron Resurrecion, Dr. Caring Tarroja, Dr. Homer Yabut, Mr. Anton Palo, Dr. Ian Reyes, Mr. Ron Resurrecion, Joey Rosal, Isabel Lanada, and Benigno Balgos. During the meeting, the need to provide psychosocial intervention surfaced. However, in doing so, there is a need to identify specific areas where the psychosocial interventions will be given, so that there won't be duplication of even being undertaken by other organizations. Consequently, an advance party composed of six (6) individuals will be going to Iligan City on January 12, 2012 until January 14, 2012 to undertake the following: (1) Rapid Assessment/Damage, Needs, Capacities Assessment (DNCA); and, (2) Assessment for Psychosocial Intervention. The team is composed of Fr. Luke Moortgat, Myra C. Magno, Bong Quiamno Jr., Mr. Anton Palo, Isabel Lanada, and Benigno Balgos. Likewise, the DLSP will continue to receive donations whether cash or in kind in order to respond the needs of the affected populations as a consequence of Typhoon Sendong.
The De La Salle University conducted a three day orientation on Community Based Disaster Risk Reduction & Management (CBDRRM) for the three clusters composed of nineteen barangays in the municipality of Lian, Batangas last August 17-19, 2011. The said CBDRRM orientation was conducted as a preparatory disaster measure since the area was identified high risk for tsunamis according to the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council and the Philippine Volcanology and Seismology Office. Majority of the participants were fishers, farmers and local residents.
COSCA has been working with the Lian Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council since November 2010 for its Disaster Risk Reduction Program. While anticipating for the local Executive Councils’ approval of the DRR ordinance, the center together with the Municipal Social Welfare Development Office and the Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Office planned this activity to prepare the residents for the adverse impacts of disasters.
Ms. Valentina delos Reyes, Municipal Social Welfare and Development Officer and Mr. Alvin Johnson, Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Officer were on hand to extend support to the proceedings. Food and venue for the participants were shouldered by the local government unit.
The first day, held at Barangay Binubusan Chapel and hosted by the Barangay Binubusan Development Office discussed why the Philippines is prone to disasters. By the end of the day, they were able to draft their own DRR plans for recommendation and approval of their respective local government units (LGUs).
The second day orientation seminar was held at the Lian Covered Court discussed practical guidelines to be done in times of disasters. Participants even volunteered to continue the implementation of the clean and green programs/activities all over the municipality as a form of disaster adaptation strategy. They also recommended the continued provision of services for the poor and the marginalized sectors of the municipality. They would also seek the support of Hon. Vilma Santos-Recto, Governor of Batangas for financial assistance for their disaster preparedness programs.
The third day which was held at the Barangay San Diego Chapel was highlighted by the film, gutom (hunger), which showed the vulnerabilities, the need to be prepared and to act accordingly. Most of the participants were touched by the scenes depicting the impoverished situation the Filipino people are facing giving rise to the adage, “The higher the vulnerabilities, the more disasters will happen”. Their realization is that they need to prepare to avoid and prevent risks and disasters. There is also a need for them to improve their capacities to lower their vulnerabilities.
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Director, Center for Social Concern and Action
National Capital Region