May 30, 2023

Office of Civil Defense-Cordillera Regional Director and Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council Chair Albert Mogol thanked council members for their support.
Mogol led other CRDRRMC member-agencies in a formulation workshop for the Cordillera Regional Disaster Response Plans, one each for hydro-meteorological hazards, human-induced hazards, and for managing the consequences of earthquake-related incidents.
Along with the Regional DRRM Plan and the Rapid Emergency Telecoms Team Handbook, the Cordillera now has five operational plans tailored for the needs of the region.
To look into the DRRM efforts and programs at the provincial level, the OCD also initiated last year a DRRM caravan in Abra, Apayao, Benguet, Ifugao, Kalinga, and Mountain Province.
During the regional caravan, the OCD with the provincial and municipal DRRM council officials conducted joint meetings and discussed DRR-related programs, updates, issues, and concerns.
The OCD also led the first Regional Resilience Summit in the Cordillera and brought together key stakeholders to tackle pressing issues and learn from good practices that mitigated risks and improved resilience in the communities.
For capacity building initiatives for stakeholders, 15 sectors with 586 individuals were provided with DRRM training and learning initiatives.
For civil defense enhancement programs, two capacity building initiatives participated in by 87 volunteers from various organizations were implemented by OCD.
The agency also led the provision of 59 technical assistance, benefitting 2,167 individuals in the region, on top of the regular programs and training initiatives being implemented by various members of the Cordillera DRRMC.
The Cordillera DRRMC also conducted 24 disaster management operations relative to the observance and monitoring of planned events, high-density population gathering activities and weather disturbances in the region.
Four regional evacuation centers (RECs) were completed. These are in Luna, Apayao; Dolores, Abra; Tabuk City, Kalinga and in La Trinidad, Benguet. Four other RECs are under construction in Abra, Ifugao, Kalinga, and Mountain Province.
In recognition of the importance of convergence and whole-of-society approach in dealing with various issues and concerns, the Cordillera DRRMC also forged and created various inter-agency task groups with the aim to harmonize response efforts towards one goal and objective.
Among these are the Task Group Kennon for safe and efficient movement of road users along Kennon Road; Inter-agency Task Group on Strict Monitoring and Advocacy on Emerging /Re-emerging Diseases and other Health, and Inter-agency Task Force for the Reduction of Fire Incidents and Effects of El Niño Phenomenon in CAR for preventive and immediate measures for forest fires.
For the regional Gawad Kalasag, an annual search for excellence in disaster risk reduction and humanitarian assistance, 22 entries joined the search.
After desk and field validation by the Regional Screening Committee, eight entries were endorsed to the National Selection Committee of which five as national finalists.
These are the University of the Cordilleras; Epiphany Christian Academy; Mountain Province PDRRMC; the La Trinidad Municipal DRRMC, and Jake Belino of the Tactical Operations Group 1 of the Philippine Air Force for special recognition.
La Trinidad MDRRMC won first place for the first to third class municipality category in the national Gawad Kalasag search while Mountain Province, UC, and Epiphany were in the top three for the provincial, higher educational institution and elementary private school categories, respectively.
Belino also received a special recognition in the 21st Gawad Kalasag Awarding Ceremony held at the Philippine International Convention Center in Dec. 6, 2019.
Mogol has called for continuing partnership in building safer and resilient communities in Cordillera this 2020.
He pushed for the strengthening of regional resources based on regional risk profile in the accomplishment of all programs and projects reflected in the Cordillera DRRM plan; forging and strengthening partnership between and among DRRM key-stakeholders in the region; empowering the regional and local DRRMCs in the region through various capacity building initiatives and improving their morale and welfare and for them to become resilience champions in their respective communities. – Carlito C. Dar