Vulnerability Definition – Ano ang Vulnerability?

This is my Video to answer the Question Ano ang Vulnerability. Sometimes we wonder what causes huge disaster without knowing that we are with high vulnerability. To Avoid this, I am sharing this video to help you understand further the element of Disaster Risk – Vulnerability. Enjoy watching! Share a Like, Comment and Subscribe after! Thank you.

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How to get travel authority during covid19

Travelling in one Municipality to another has been restricted during each and every community quarantine imposed by the Government. But when it is necessary and there is a need for you to travel, you may do so, provided that you acquire a Travel Authority from the Municipal Police Station.

However, before a travel authority is issued, you need to secure a Medical or Health Certificate First, which is released by the Municipal Health Services Offices. Check out my video for your guidance in case you really need to Travel:

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Disaster Defined

What is Disaster? In Republic Act 10121, Disaster is defined as a serious disruption of the functioning of a community or a society causing widespread human, material, economic, or environmental losses which exceed the ability of the affected community or society to cope using its own resources. Check out explanation in my channel MAGANGAN STAN. or check out the video Below for some examples for you.

Ano nga ba ang Disaster?

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18 Days at the River Banks

The search operations for the missing teenagers of Lower Wangal La Trinidad has reached Day 18 on Monday, September 02, 2019 where one of the two was found. I had Mixed emotions of Joy and Fear upon learning the discovery of the volunteer groups later that day. I was thankful but not to celebrate yet, as many things has to be considered to manage the dead in the lens of Disaster Risk Reduction and Management.

But first, remember that before day 18 was August 29 and 30, 2019 when our responders, led by Elgin Bulcio, LDRRMO I of La Trinidad, went down as far as Bagulin, La Union to conduct the Search operations there. This strategy was employed and implemented because after Sablan, the Balili River connects to Bagulin River. The conduct of Search operations there will also clear out speculations of possibility that those missing teens are there. All responders checked-in for that mission stayed overnight at the Municipal Hall of Baguilin, courtesy of Bagulin Mayor Virgilio Flor and the People of Bagulin. Salamat Apo.

On August 30, 2019, we accompanied Mayor Romeo K. Salda who wanted to visit his IMT and operatives at Bagulin. Upon our arrival, a courtesy meeting was conducted between the two chief executives. Really, the Municipality of Bagulin was eager to extend all possible help they could provide for this mission. When we met our search operations IMT and volunteers in their Incident Command Post (ICP), we observed that they are already exhausted, given the conditions of hot temperature, even the K9-s seems to show stress levels at that point. So, Immediately, after all objectives was met, the Responsible Official for this operation, Mayor Romeo Salda, immediately ordered demobilization of La Trinidad Resources and everyone returned to La Trinidad base.

So there were at least two-day rest days for our search operations volunteers. And on Monday, day 18, one of the missing persons was found. It was actually 4:00 PM on that day, the time of pull-out, when a volunteer from the Talingguroy group saw a hand where he thought was just a part of the garbage found therein. Perhaps due to fatigue and low morale, he forgot about possibilities. But after a moment, he went back with his buddy and confirmed it to be a human body part, covered with a lot Garbage, through a touch. All efforts were then concentrated on that area and the garbage was removed, thus, revealing the body which is unidentifiable. No marks, No clothes, just bare.

Management of the Dead and Missing comes to play. After the body was extricated, it was placed in a body bag and brought to Benguet General Hospital Morgue. The discovered body cannot be identified by their relatives because both missing teens were allegedly of the same weight and height. Just to make sure that the body is correctly identified, the services of the Crime Lab of the Philippine National Police was requested. The Results, however, needs to be processed and will be available after some time.

The discovery of the body on Day 18 was like a gas poured onto the fire of dedication in wanting to find the other missing teen. It enhanced the eagerness of our volunteers after an 18-day heartbreaks. I personally witnessed them losing hope in the same way I almost lost mine. Now I know better; that search operations of this duration requires a lot more than just a morale booster – it requires a lot of support.

DRRM MEANS SEARCHING

The Habagat has brought us pain. Aside from damages in the farms, two teenagers went missing. A worst situation in a community that we don’t want to happen-and as much as we want to find them quickly after they were reported as missing, the circumstances warrant otherwise. The Waters in the river was violent and turbid – a sign of danger to our rescue teams.

It hurts us the way it hurts their relatives and the community because the only possible action is to wait until the river subsides. But waiting doesn’t mean doing nothing. In this period, the La Trinidad Accredited Community Disaster Volunteers (LTACDV) are with the employees of the La Trinidad LGU doing the necessary plans. Not everyone knows this which makes them derive the assumption that their government is not doing anything. But this action is the important part of the search operation after all.

The earlier days of operations was under the responsibility of the Local Government Unit of Barangay Wangal. The La Trinidad MDRRMC won’t go anywhere far as they are still in-charge of Logistics and Safety. This is part of the strategies and tactics because these kind of search operations on rivers with rocks and boulders may extend as long as the missing persons are found. The locals went on to the option of water contact to search inside the waters. At one point, they were requesting for scuba gears. We have available gears, however, our safety officer said no. Technicalities revealed that using such gear would increase risk because the river might just easily pull them in.

As the search goes down below Barangay Wangal, political boundary suggests the use of area command mechanism. Barangay Bineng Officials offered their capacity and services to augment search operations efforts within their area of responsibility. They even took the responsibility to coordinate with their neighboring Barangay Banengbeng in the Municipality of Sablan for the next schedule of the operation soon. A commendable act of helping a fellow LGU in need.

While the operations are on-going, help were coming. City DRRM of Baguio came when they were requested by the relatives to help. K9 teams of the BFP and PNP were also utilized. Donations from various organizations and Agencies were received. And community volunteers are continuously coming in.

There is hope! And part of our job is to keep it burning and make it happen! Just Before Tropical Depression Jenny comes in, the search teams are working at Barangay Kamog, Sablan. The plan has to be implemented before Jenny changes the course of the river just yet.

Commendation is due to all those who continuously support the DRRM Search Operations for our missing brothers from Wangal, La Trinidad, Benguet. Barangay Wangal and Barangay Bineng Officials, tanods, and community members in particular, displayed best example of helping one another which I will never forget. May their example inspire other Local Government Units to do the same, not just during disasters, but in everyday living.

To the relatives and friends of our dear missing brothers, your Municipal DRRM will always support you in all possible and safe means, to find them. Let’s help each other, and together, we shall succeed.

Can we be Disaster Free?

In November, Benguet Province’s festival ‘Adivay’ was celebrated with a heavy heart, but full of hope, as it reminds us to be strong after the disaster, through its theme: “Benguet Culture – Unity, Industry, Prosperity: Managing Adversities with excellence thru enhanced Indigenous Resilience”. The celebration was full of traditional prayers for a single goal: A Disaster free Benguet in the future.

In order to attain the goal, you can always help. In your own simple way, manage or eliminate the Hazard you see, so that nothing will ever become a Disaster. This is what the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management of La Trinidad is doing now through various programs, projects, and activities. When the hazard can’t be eliminated, at least make everyone prepare for its adverse effects or ensure the resiliency of the community.

But before anything yet, I think there is still a confusion on what the word Hazards and Disasters means to everyone. As I always emphasize during my lectures on topics for Preparedness, we do not want to use the word ‘Disaster’. This word is only used to indicate that there is Loss of Lives and Damages to Properties that happened, and we don’t want that, or do you?

So what word concerns you?

Disasters are caused by Hazards. So, when you don’t want a Disaster, you have to know a lot about Hazards, talk about it, manage it properly, or, better yet, eliminate it.

Hazards are those that can cause a Disaster. There can be no Disaster if there are no Hazards. Steep slopes around your home’s yard is an example. Hanging boulders, Denudated Forests, Clogged Canals, Dilapidated Roofs of your house, Electrical Wirings, etc. are some. When these are not managed, eliminated, or fixed, it may cause severe damage which will already be called a Disaster.

Now, since the Philippines is Located in the Pacific Ring of Fire and Pacific Typhoon Belt, we do have a lot of bigger hazards to manage, aside from those mentioned above. Weather Disturbances such as Typhoons is on the top list, followed by Earthquakes, and Volcanic Eruptions.

Of course you cannot stop Typhoons or earthquakes. But you can still do something so that these Hazards won’t become a Disaster. You can always prepare! There is a lot of time before a Hazard becomes a Disaster (if it should). Recall TY Ompong – Public advisories were disseminated and preparations were done before it arrived. Class Suspended, Liquor Banned, etc., even when there is no rain yet, to give time to preparations for the hazards, so it won’t cause a Disaster.

Your preparations in your home is the first best thing to do to prevent a disaster from happening: Know your Hazard; Transfer your valuable things where there’s no flooding; Always ensure free flow of water on Canals; Construct your slope protections on steep slopes; Purchase supplies and equipment that you need; Have a Go Bag that is available anytime; be sure to have the complete set of emergency numbers to call, just in case; and better evacuate as early when the typhoon has not yet arrived. Consider your experience during TY Ompong. Remember that Balili River overflowed causing flood in the Valley and mountains saturated causing massive landslide everywhere.

Prepare your Farms too: Fix its drainage system, Use materials that can resist strong wind and rains, reduce steep slopes, and avail of available crop insurance to make sure that you will have something to start with, in case hazards will damage your crops. (You may contact The Office of the Municipal Agriculturist for assistance).

When in other areas you are not so familiar with, (i.e. Swimming pools, Beach, Resorts, Training Halls, Restaurants, Hotels, Tourist Destinations, etc.) prioritize to learn the hazards upon arrival and know how to get away from them by looking for possible escape routes and emergency numbers.

Preventing Disaster is possible when Hazards are managed. Start the practice this Yuletide Season. Avoid the hazards, or eliminate them, and your Celebration will be the best that it can be.

Benguet School of Arts and Trades is… Where?

I grew up in the Rural Community of Ambangeg, Bokod, Philippines and finished my High School at the Benguet School of Arts and Trades, or Commonly known as BSAT-the educator in this part of the world before and of the Millenials where a lot of Teachers today have graduated.

My High School Building

Right after the 1990 earthquake, this makeshift building was constructed to replace those that collapsed. It is located at the center portion of the entire school. When I last visited it last week, it was still there but is not being used. The partitions inside were already removed.

As I take a peek of its inside, the memories with my classmates in it came right into me. Amazing High School life. The plays I did, experiments, exams, presentations, games, parties, dances, lessons, teachers, and of course the love stories were recalled there with those shiny plain cement floor. Haha!

The Basketball Court

Outside is the Star Player maker: The Basketball Court. This court is where I learned how to play basketball. Since my elementary days, after school, we come here and play. Even when at the hottest-mid-day, we ran, we shoot, we play. Its floor was also rough that it causes bruises when we fall.

The Binnejayeng

At the southern portion is the famous Binnejayeng Lake. Mysterious that this lake never lost its water.

It was around it that I learned to farm. The open areas were once our school garden. Every Student has an assigned area to plant. I personally planted gabi and sitting beans on my slot and harvested them too.

BSAT now

Today, BSAT is now under the Benguet State University and they call it their Bokod Campus (BSU Bokod Campus). It was made so because it was thought that it will offer other College Courses for the students option. Perhaps it will happen in the Future.

Nevertheless, if you are an alumni of this school, it is always worth revisiting. It is still there 🙂

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