Philippines Recovery Efforts Led by Local Experts

by De La Salle University

The De La Salle University Gokongwei College of Engineering (DLSU GCOE) is undertaking as part of its institutional Community Engagement, the Lasallian Engineers for God and Country (LEGACY) Project. Its major objectives are the following: to allow the students to practice their field of specialization based on the needs of the partner communities; venue for knowledge and intellectual exchange among other engineering fields; to develop the expertise and the sense of professionalism; and enhance the culture of service using the field of engineering.

As a response to the incident in Leyte in 2013 where the super typhoon Yolanda took thousands of lives and caused enormous damage to properties, a composite team from LEGACY was formed. The focus of this group is to provide basic assistance to priority communities in Leyte with the help and network of DLSP (De La Salle Philippines) in the form of information, education and campaign (IEC) on disaster risk reduction. Priority Communities Recipient of the project are Barangay San Miguel located in the Municipality of Dulag and Barangay Diit in Tacloban City, Leyte.

Members of the team include the following: Dr. Leonila Abella, Dr. Susan Gallardo, Dr. Mario de Leon, Ms. Kathlene Marie Gaurana, Stephanie Denise Suarez, Mr. Louise Patrick Pambid, Kevin John Lee, and Ezekiel Bernardo.

Based on an assessment conducted during an earlier visit, the team found out that the two communities are not resilient against various hazards of earthquake, extreme wind, storms, tsunami and flood among others. These were supported by their observations during the reconnaissance survey which highlights the following; (1) lack of community awareness in disaster risk resilience practices in the grassroots level (barangay), (2) vulnerable structural typologies in the form of makeshift houses built on hazardous area (beach front), and (3) lack of integration of DRR principles as perceived in the city government on its application and policy making.

The highlight of this particular CE intervention is the mapping of their critical infrastructure with the support of the CE department led by Engr. Jason Maximino Ongpeng, Drs. Maricel Paringit, Lessandro Estelito Garciano and Mario de Leon.

Dr. Paringit generated seven (7) maps consisting of Barangay Diit Administrative Map, Fault Line, Liquefaction Susceptibility, Storm Surge, MGB Flood Susceptibility, MGB Landslide Susceptibility, Waterways and Roads. These maps were made as basis of identifying four specific workshop activities that will be implemented by the two priority communities, to wit; (1) Location of Lifeline Support Structures/Facilities (2) Validation of Position/Location of Waterways and Roads, (3) Validation of Landslide and Flood Susceptibility Data (4) Structural Typologies of Houses and Soil Condition.

Dr. De Leon presented the initial activities of reading and interpreting the maps and the validation of data which are the plans of action that the two communities will have to perform in preparation for the design of their disaster management activities. The activity ended with a short presentation of initial findings and results of the field survey.

The generated maps were donated to Barangay Diit with the intention to use these in the information and education dissemination in the barangays and to continue the work on validation of data.

The DRR presentation and workshop activities were first-hand experience by the participants on community engagement with academic institution and exposure on use the GPS equipment and field survey. They recognized the importance of reading and understanding maps, interpreting what the maps convey and the validation of data useful in disaster risk reduction management.

The Center for Social Concern and Action (COSCA), joined the continuing effort of the De La Salle Philippines (DLSP), in their project, “One La Salle after Typhoon Yolanda” last April 20 to 24, 2015.

The Earthquake, Tsunami and Storm Surge Drill and Training on Early Warning System aims to contribute in the hazard preparation efforts of the five barangays in Tubabao Island, Guiuan, wherein Barangay Trinidad was identified as the pilot barangay.

Ms. Isabel Lanada of COSCA provided valuable input that heightened the community members’ knowledge, skills and attitude in terms of disaster risk reduction, mitigation and preparedness.

Residents of the island were primed of the furtive occurrences of earthquake that may trigger tsunami in the sea-bound province. Also as a typhoon belt province, they are clued-up with the occurrence of storm surge. The residents participated in the drill in which they fled from a simulated storm surge and tsunami attack and ran on the 500-meter road from Barangay Trinidad to its highest peak. Demonstrations on how to do the “duck, cover and hold” were presented to the community members.

Other participants include the barangay officials from the four barangays namely: San Juan, Camparang, San Antonio and San Pedro. These individuals were tasked as evaluators of the exercise.

Before the actual drill, a popular version of a primer on tsunami disaster posters and brochures for advocacy purposes was printed, posted and distributed to the public, including tarpaulins directed at enjoining vulnerable communities to be disaster-prepared communities.

The barangay officials also committed to conduct regular disaster drills, continuously utilize indigenous early warning systems to test the communities’ alertness and proper responses in simulation to the onset of disasters.

Report on the current Relief Operations and renewed call for Assistance

De La Salle University (DLSU) through the Center for Social Concern and Action (COSCA) conducted relief operations in the Municipality of Borongan, Eastern Samar and Brgy. Apolonio Samson, Quezon City last January, 2015.

1. Operations in the Municipality of Borongan (Typhoon Ruby)

Typhoon Ruby hit the Municipality of Borongan last December 2014 and resulted in loss of lives and damaged properties and livelihood.  COSCA, in partnership with an alumnus of DLSU and field personnel from De La Salle Philippines (DLSP) provided calamity assistance to a total of 730 households from barangays Nena San Julian and Oras. Local youth volunteers from the brgy helped in the re-packing and distribution of family packs. 

2. Efforts in Brgy Apolonio Samson, Quezon City (Fire)

Approximately 2,000 families in Kaingin Bukid, West River Side, Brgy. Apolonio Samson, Quezon City loss their homes due to a massive fire in early 2015.  COSCA, in partnership with a local Peoples’ Organization provided relief assistance for a total of 273 families.

3. Renewed call for assistance for the Municipality of Borongan

Due to the extent of damages and effects to the livelihood of the residents of Borongan, their local Chief Executive is still asking for our continued support.  

For web-based donation

Please click on 

On the donor search, type in Philippines Disaster Relief (project # 3916)
Make sure you choose the Philippine Disaster Relief Project being implemented by De La Salle University.

COSCA temporarily does not accept in-kind donations since the campus has limited space for storage.

For DLSU Manila and DLSU STC related inquiries, please contact Mr. Joseph Rosal, Coordinator for Community Engagement, COSCA at +6302-525-4267 or local 147 and via

Thank you.

the center for social concern and action provided assistance to 1074 families affected by the recent typhoon glenda. most of these sites are located within metro manila.

to further streamline the relief assistance process of the center, we are now implementing several improvement to the mechanism to increase effectiveness and efficiency. these include among others the delivery of relief items in bulk to the local development partners; encouraging these local peoples' organizations and non-governmental organizations to create their own appropriate system of repacking relief items, identification of direct beneficiaries and distribution to the survivors.

these are being done in line with the principle that the center is engaged in a partnership with like minded developmental institutions and thus is advocating continued capacity building for them. this is also done to ensure that activities done with them are liberating and not building dependents on cosca.

to emphasize the point, most of the partner ngo-po had to pick up the items at the center using their own vehicles. 

the center for its part, is now doing intensive monitoring to ensure that these relief items are provided to those truly in need. 

Summary of the COSCA DRTD initial review of the CB DRRM project (Bagac and Lian)


The CB DRRM project being implemented by COSCA was the result of two major consultations in 2009 with both the internal and external partners of the center in emergency relief operations. Using the learning from the onslaught of Ondoy in Luzon, the emphasis now in DRRM work shifted from providing relief response to disaster prepared and management. Facilitating this task was the approval of RA 10121 (2010 Philippine DRRM Law).

Thus the nature of the CB DRRM engagement in the identified pilot municipality of Bagac and Lian was the following: 1. Develop a training module for external partners (LGU and other groups) based on the provisions of RA 10121, Hyogo Framework for Action and other relevant DRRM materials; 2. Capacitate the partner MDRRMC on the provisions of the new law and other international DRRM framework towards building their own MDRRMC structures and mechanisms; 3. Institutionalize provisions of the new law through local ordinances and resolutions and ensure that its essence is observed.

Summary of the results:

On objective no. 1, the project was able to draft the training module using the provisions of RA 10121 and HFA as references. However, this was not finalized in preparations for eventual publication and distribution to partner LGUs.

On objective no. 2, the project was able to provide a ladderized CB DRRM capacity building session for the members of the MDRRMC and representatives from the pilot DRRM brgys.  The following represents the dates, participating brgys and total number of participants of each training activity:



Jan. 31, 2011 (12 pax, Bagac MDRRMC)

Feb. 15-17, 2011 (17 pax, MDRRMC)

Jan 31 – Feb. 1 ,2012(32 pax, MDRRMC)

March 13-14, 2012, a Disaster Drill and Motorcade was held in Bagac;

July 12, 2012, a landslide drill was conducted at Bgy. Banawang, Bagac with 65 pax;



March 4, 2011 (Total Pax: 16, MDRRMC)

March 11, 2011 (Total Pax: 35, MDRRMC)

March 28, 2011 (Total Pax: 12, BDRRMC)  

June 15-16, 2011 (Total Pax: 42, brgy. Pag-asa)  

April 9, 2011 (Total Pax: 102, Bgy. Bungahan)

April 11-12, 2011(Total Pax: 55, Bgy. Bungahan)

Aug. 19, 2011(Total Pax: 180, brgys Bungahan, San Diego, Tan-ag)

Aug. 18, 2011 (6 Barangays of Cumba, Prenza,Bagong Pook,Humayangan, Lumaniag, Malaruhatan)

Aug. 17, 2011 (8 Barangays of Cumba, Kapito, Malaruhatan, Binubusan, P. Kahoy, Sergio, Balibago, Luyahan, Matabungkay)

May 15-16, 2012 MDRRMC Training on DRRM (19 pax)

May 17, 2012 BDC Training on DRRM for Bgy. Bungahan, San Diego and Cumba

August 16, 2013, Tsunami Drill held in Bgy. San Diego with 269 pax;


Aside from trainings provided by the project, the formed MDRRMC were able to meet regularly to plan out activities:



-Sept. 8, 2011: MDRRM Plan ’11 Approval

-Feb. 17, 2012: Regular MDRRMC Meeting

-May 15, 2012: Field Meeting with MDRRMC: No Agenda Indicated

-July 16, 2012: Meeting with SB Members

-Aug. 6, 2012: MDRRM Plan ’12 Approval

-Sept. 21, 2012: MDRRMC Meeting; No Agenda Indicated

-Oct. 15, 2012: MDRRMC Meeting on DRR Plan

-July 31, 2013: No minutes attached.



 April 5, 2012: Bagac MDRRMC Consultation Meeting

July 9, 2012: MDRRMC Prep meeting for landslide drill

July 19-20, 2012: Municipal Community Based Risk Management Meeting

Sept. 17, 2012: MDRRMC Meeting for CWTS Deployment Preps

Oct. 15, 2012: MDRRMC Meeting on DRR Plan


On objective no.3, the project was able to lobby the LGU to pass relevant municipal ordinances and resolutions adhering to the provisions of RA 10121. These include the following:



Administrative Order e-organizing MDCC to MDRRMC. (A.O. 2011-14 & A.O. 2011-19

Municipal ordinance forming the MDRRMC passed last Sept. 2011 (Ordinance #6, Series of 2011

Bgy. Cumba passed resolution utilizing 70% of calamity fund for the purchase of radio communication equipment. (Resolution #4, Series of 2011)   

Standby Disaster Preparedness Plan Submitted. (undated)   

Municipal ordinance forming the MDRRMC passed last Sept. 2011 (Res. # 080, Series of 2011)   

Bgy. Bungahan passed resolution #4, series of 2013 organizing the BDRRMC.



Bgy. Saysain has included a small portion on Disaster Preparedness in their BDP for 2012-2016.



Possible next steps:


COSCA will be continuing with the capacity building on CB DRRM for the newly established MDRRMC of both Lian and Bagac and would focus on the formation of an emergency response team (includes training of rescue divers-swimmers, mountain rescue and others).


The center will also finalize the CB DRRM training module for external partners. The module will be published and copies will be given to current COSCA partners.


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Organization Information

De La Salle University

Location: Manila, NCR - Philippines
Project Leader:
Lourdes Melegrito
Director, Center for Social Concern and Action
Manila, National Capital Region Philippines
$80,065 raised of $100,000 goal
811 donations
$19,935 to go
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