March 5, 2024

Four provincial disaster risk reduction and management councils (PDRRMCs) and a private organization were recognized during the recent 22nd Gawad Kalasag National Awarding Ceremony.
Mountain Province PDRRMC received the Gawad Kalasag Seal of Excellence as a Beyond Compliant Local Government Unit  while  the PDRRMCs of Apayao, Benguet, and Kalinga received Seal of Excellence as Fully Compliant or adhering to the standards for the establishment and functionality of the Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Councils and Offices (LDRRMCOs)  as prescribed.
The SN Aboitiz Power Benguet, Inc., on the other hand, was recognized as one of the national finalists for the 2022 Gawad Kalasag Special Awards for Private Organization Category. The company received a plaque of recognition and P50,000 as an incentive.
NDRRMC Chair Senior Usec. Jose Faustino, Jr. congratulated all the awardees as he assured continuous support towards achieving a disaster-resilient Philippines. 
“With your forward thinking, excellent leadership, and deep love for your communities, you’ve taken our nation one step closer to a higher level of disaster resilience and on behalf of every Filipino whom your gentle caring hands have reached, I extend my profound gratitude,” Faustino said.
He said based on the World Risk Report 2022 last September, the Philippines was cited as the country at the highest risk of disasters and calamities out of 192 countries.
With a risk score of 46.82 percent, it is not just exposure to natural disasters but also to the vulnerability in terms of susceptibility to their adverse effects, lack of coping capacity to short term, and lack of adaptive capacity in the long term.
Faustino added that in terms of exposure, the Philippines ranked as the fourth highest with the risk score of 39.99 percent following Japan, Mexico, and China.
This means disaster happens outside of control and it is imperative to improve nations capability to address effectively vulnerabilities, he underscored.
“We need to continuously innovate so that the next time a disaster comes along, we are more prepared to respond,” he said.
Kalasag stands for Kalamidad at Sakuna Labanan Sariling Galing ang Kaligtasan.
The Gawad Kalasag awarding is in recognition of LGUs, schools, hospitals, private groups, institutions, and individuals that have made distinguished contributions in promoting effective and sustainable DRRM-oriented governance and action of which, all Filipinos are   empowered to proactively improve their lives as well as protect their respective communities by actively taking part in constructive and innovative practices in disaster risk reduction and management. – Debbie E. Gasingan