January 29, 2023

PINUKPUK, Kalinga – The Humanity and Inclusion (HI) Philippines and Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) launched here a community disaster risk reduction-climate change adaptation and mitigation (DRR-CCAM) project tapping civil society and peoples organizations as partners.

The initiative, called Empowering Municipalities, Barangays, Civil Society and Peoples Organizations through Working Together to Enhance Disaster and Climate Risk Governance (Empower Project) involves persons with disability organizations, senior citizens, youth, farmers, and women.

Empower is a 30-month joint project of ADRA and HI supported by the European Union that aims to strengthen the resilience of high-risk communities by reinforcing civil society’s relevance in disaster and climate risk governance.  

This project veers away from the status quo of communities having the role of mere beneficiaries of government assistance and projects.

By achieving greater participation of these groups in disaster and climate risk governance, it will enhance the policies, structures, and practice that will result in improved transparency and accountability of local governance in this municipality, a panel headed by Project Manager Geraldina Gutierrez said.

HI Country Director Reiza Dejito said that Empower Project has two key outcomes: Strengthening the capacities of CSOs and other stakeholders so that they are empowered to participate meaningfully in local governance and strengthening the disaster and climate risk systems in the municipality so that disaster and climate risk governance become more inclusive and accessible as a result of improved transparency and accountability.

Dejito said, “We seek to promote and embed the rights of persons with disability, women and girls, older persons, farmers and the youth within the local governance structure on DRR and climate risk governance to encourage inclusion in policies, programs, and access to services.”  

Tom Pignon, the country director of ADRA Philippines, they believe that through meaningful participation of CSOs in disaster and climate risk-governance, communities become more resilient and better prepared to manage the various and often inter-connected risks they face.

Mayor Irving Dasayon welcomed the development project saying that if partners are active, it will be a great help to improve the local government’s DRR and climate risk governance. – Peter A. Balocnit