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