BAGUIO CITY – The Office of Civil Defense recognized exemplars and valuable partners in disaster risk reduction and management(DRRM) efforts and actions in Cordillera during the 2016 Gawad Kalasag Awards Night held at the CAP Convention and Cultural Center on January 18.
The regional awardees were the University of the Cordilleras – Best School DRRM; La Trinidad, Benguet and Luna, Apayao – first and second place respectively in the Best Municipal DRRM 1st to 3rd class category; Municipality of Tublay, Benguet for best Municipal DRRM – 4th to 6th class category; Baguio – Benguet Public Info and Civic Action Group as Best Volunteer Group; Tuba Fire Station as Best Government Emergency Management Service, with Baguio City EMS at second place. Baguio City is the best DRRM for the highly urbanized city category and Apayao as the best Provincial DRRM and Mountain Province at second place.
For the DRRM Commitment awards (individual category), recognized were Benguet DRRM coordinator for Department of Education Nerissa Barbosa; Tublay MDRRMO Abner Lawangen; Licuan-Baay, Abra MDRRMO Erosbon Sabedo; Mountain Province PRRMO Edward Chumawar; La Trinidad MDRRMO Yoshio Labi and Police Regional Office Deputy Director for Operations, PSSupt. Angelito Casimiro.
OCD also gave recognition to 30 government agencies and organizations, private institutions and volunteer groups for their valuable contribution in the DRRM advocacy and efforts last year especially during the onslaught of super Typhoon Lawin.
Assistant Secretary Kristoffer James “Toby” Purisima, OCD Deputy Administrator for Admin- Operations, in expressing his congratulations to the DRRM exemplars of Cordillera, outlined the importance of their work and leadership in ensuring a safer, climate change adaptive and resilient Philippines.
“Civil defense and DRRM efforts and initiatives are integral on the survival of our disaster prone country considering that our country’s Gross Domestic Product is directly and quickly affected by disaster and calamities. Thus, a comprehensive civil defense and DRRM program is the principal strategy that will assure sustainable and irreversible socio- economic growth”, Purisima stressed.
“This is the bigger picture and common operating template we should carry with us as we discharge our important mandate to the nation, as we move towards a resilient Philippines. Our Gawad Kalasag awardees today are the proof that it can be done because it has been done. Indeed Cordillera has withstood the worst”, he added.
Purisima also challenges all the awarded to continue the good DRRM efforts and initiatives and be relentless in reinventing their strategies so that they will always remain responsive to the ever changing demand of the country’s ever evolving DRRM landscape.
Gawad Kalasag’ (KAlamidad at Sakuna LAbanan SAriling Galing ang Kaligtasan) is an annual award that is given to individuals, non-government organizations, private sector and government organizations in recognition of their initiative in helping the Filipino government uplift the standard of disaster management in the country./JDP/CCD – PIA CAR#