Category Archives: Disaster Resiliency

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.

Advertisements

La Trinidad ACDVs are Among Cordillera’s Best Volunteer Groups in 2018

Today, the La Trinidad Accredited Community Disaster Volunteers (ACDV) was Appreciated by the Philippine National Volunteer Service Coordinating Agency (PNVSCA) and National Selection Committee of the Search for Outstanding Volunteers in the Philippines. The appreciation is in recognition of their commendable service, dedication, and Commitment to Volunteering for Development. In fact, they were Nominated to the National Level Search as the best Not-for-profit organization in the Cordillera Administrative Region.

The Awarding Ceremony

The Certificate was handed over by the Regional Development Council (RDC) Chairperson, Baguio City Mayor Mauricio Domogan and was received by ACDV representative Glenn Awal, today at the Mansion House, Baguio City.

ACDV Backgrounder

The ACDV are rendering volunteer services in the Municipality of La Trinidad and is a partner of the La Trinidad Disaster Risk Reduction and Management. Their focus is on Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) Training and Response (during Emergencies and Disasters). They are guided by their motto “we don’t teach, we share” and are composed of individuals with exemplary skills and knowledge in different fields. (Check their Official Facebook Account Here for more details.)

Congratulations and More Power. May you Continue to be the best volunteers in the Cordillera Region, and the entire Philippines soon.

Kalasag is at La Trinidad after 20 years

On December 04, 2018, the Gawad Kalasag is finally delivered to its new home La Trinidad, 20 years after it was initiated in 1998.

Kalasag is a local term for the warrior’s shield as a protection from some attackers. Today, it is a prestigious award, It signifies the idea: ‘KAlamidad at Sakuna LAbanan SAriling Galing ang Kaligtasan’.


Gawad Kalasag is given to recognize those who are committed to implementing significant Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Projects and Activities including the provision of Humanitarian Response and assistance to affected communities.


La Trinidad’s first attempt of gaining such recognition was on the 16th Gawad Kalasag in 2014. It was a first time to be validated by the National Validating Team and it was not easy as documents are quite unfamiliar that time. We were roasted and awarded the Third Placer.

Realizing the lesson of the past Gawad Kalasag, we thought we need to do a lot better for the next years. And while doing so, Our 17th Gawad Kalasag in 2015 did not make it in the Nationals.


In 2016, we redeemed the lost after implementing programs in-line with the Gawad Kalasag Checklist. The La Trinidad MDRRMC was once again visited by the National Validation Team. It was never easy, they placed us Second to the Municipality of Hinatuan during the 18th Gawad Kalasag Awarding.

While improving even more, we saw the loopholes and fixed them. So that in the 19th Gawad Kalasag, we expected to be the First Placer. However, the result was the otherwise. We are still Second. We know, there’s a lot more to do.

And today, it is ours. The 20th Gawad Kalasag is now in the Books, awarded to the people of the Municipality of La Trinidad. And it would have not been possible without everyone’s participation and help. Thank you very much.


Let this serve as an inspiration for us to do more for our goal of making La Trinidad a Disaster Resilient Municipality.


Award tayo amin daytuy akas maysa nga ili. Salamat kenyayu amin.

THE CLIMATE CHANGE Action plan and our ways of life

On November 23, 2018, I was tasked to Speak for the Mayor at SMX Aura to share best practices on Integration of Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation (CCAM) to Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM), along with Mayor Sally Ante Lee of Sorsogon City and Mayor Mary Jean Feliciano of Brooke’s Point, Palawan, during the 2nd National Convention on Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction.

I learned right there and then that we all have the same problems in Implementing Programs Projects and Activities (PPAs) for our Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation-the funds. While we have the Climate Change Action Plan, there is no specific source of funds for it, causing unimplemented projects in other Municipalities.

Photo by Climate Change Commission PH facebook page

So I went to share How La Trinidad do it: incorporating PPAs of the CCAM to the Development Plans. And the rest is History.

But then, it’s not about what your Government can do about it. Its what you can do as an individual to help Adapt and Mitigate effects of Climate Change. Conserve Electricity, Water, Fuel, and Gas. Segregate waste and Compost Biodegradables. Minimize Gas emissions by not using motor vehicles. And similar gestures promoting natural ways of living.