December 10, 2022

ITOGON, Benguet – Nine barangays have started refining their disaster risk reduction (DRR) plans under the European Union-supported Empower Project.

The enhancement of the DRR Plan commenced at Barangay Ucab, where members of Barangay DRRM Council and leaders of civil society organizations sat together to review and enhance their plans.

Ucab was hit by a massive landslide at the height of Typhoon Ompong in 2018, where 97 miners and their families were buried in a mudslide at Sitio First Gate.

The barangays’ priority is to involve the organizations of farmers, persons with disabilities, women, older persons, and children and youth in enhancing the DRR Plan so that their needs and advocacies are integrated into their plans.

Municipal DRRM Officer and Empower champion, Eng. Cyril Batcangan said, “To make the DRRM Plan inclusive, the important parts of the plan should have inputs from the CSOs. The community vision, mission, and goals, the roles, and responsibilities of CSOs in prevention and mitigation, preparedness, response and rehabilitation, and recovery are clearly articulated.”

“The membership of CSOs in the DRRMC structures is reflected in the sections of the plan that show the organizational chart and list of DRRMC members and committees. There should be indicators to measure inclusiveness of the plans and lastly the disaggregated data on gender, age and disability should be used to adapt activities to be more responsive of the data.”

For the past 22 months, the Empower Project, through the collaboration of local government units and CSOs, strived to make Itogon resilient and better prepared for natural and man-made hazards.

Empower project is a joint initiative of Adventist Development and Relief Agency and Humanity and Inclusion through the funding support of the European Union worth P21.7 million. – Press release