The Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Councils and Offices (LDRRMCOs) of the eastern Metro Manila city governments of Pasig, Mandaluyong, and San Juan were conferred with seals of excellence for their consistent and commendable efforts in disaster mitigation and calamity resilience.
The awards were given at the 22nd Gawad KALASAG (Kalamidad at Sakuna Labanan, Sariling Galing Ang Kaligtasan) national awarding ceremony held at the Manila Hotel on Wednesday, Dec. 7.
Led by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), the Gawad KALASAG awarding body assessed the LDRRMCOs using a toolkit which allowed local government units (LGUs) to rate their disaster resilience, aligning it with their mandates under the Philippines Disaster Risk Reduction Management Act of 2010 or Republic Act No. 10121.
The Seal of Good Local Governance for the Disaster Preparedness Area was based on the Gawad KALASAG indicators – structure, competency, management systems, enabling policies, knowledge management and advocacy, along with partnership and participation.
The three cities were recognized under the “Fully Compliant” category for the National Capital Region (NCR).
This means the city governments were found to be “generally adherent to the standards for the establishment and functionality of the LDRRMCOs as prescribed in RA No. 10121.”
Pasig City garnered a rating of 2.40 from the Gawad awarding body’s LDRRMCO assessments. Meanwhile, Mandaluyong City got 2.26, and San Juan City had a score of 1.87.
The plaques of recognition were received by CDRRMO Chief Bryant Wong for Pasig City, Councilor Benjie Abalos for Mandaluyong City, and CDRRMO Department Head Saripada “Tong” L. Pacasum Jr. for San Juan City.
Other LGUs honored in the ceremony under the “fully compliant” category in NCR were Pasay (1.73 rating), Navotas (1.91), Valenzuela (1.92), Caloocan (2.16), and Las Pinas (2.27).
NCR cities that received the “Beyond Compliant” awards were Makati (2.58), Muntinlupa (2.64), Malabon (2.66), Paranaque (2.66), and Quezon City (2.69).
Towards full resilience
Pasig, Mandaluyong, and San Juan have made significant strides in improving their DRRM policies and programs to further safeguard their citizens from calamities and other threats brought by factors such as climate change.
Recently, Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto announced that the local government is in the process of creating a comprehensive flood control master plan, a first for the city.
This plan will enable the CDRRMO and its affiliated departments to map out and fully prepare the city amid the typhoon season, and help mitigate flooding. It will also help the DRRMO create plans and infrastructure that would minimize other potentially fatal incidents like earthquakes and fires.
In Mandaluyong City, Project Menchie (Mandaluyong Enhanced monitoring of Natural hazards and Climate for Household Information and Education) was upgraded by the CDRRMO to adapt to the changing climate.
The project upgrade included a Multi-Disaster Automated Risk Assessment Generator that relays more precise data on a barangay’s heat index, six-hour rain forecast, and six-hour accumulated rain. The upgrade also utilized a text messaging service for weather alerts and updates.
San Juan City DRRMO continues to conduct regular disaster drills and exercises, holds seminars on disaster preparedness and rescue techniques in order to strengthen the San Juan Early Response Network.