July 15, 2024

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – The U.S. Peace Corps and Peace Corps Philippines in collaboration with the U.S. Agency for International Development conducted a study visit in this capital town on March 9.

Mayor Romeo Salda, Vice Mayor Roderick Awingan, Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Officer Yoshio Labi, and other municipal officials welcomed the Global Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) Focal Persons from the Peace Corps Headquarters in Washington D.C., Peace Corps Philippines, Peace Corps Offices in the Eastern Caribbean and Guyana in South America, in Malawi and Mozambique in Africa, in Paraguay in South America, and in Tonga and Vanuatu in the Pacific Islands.

Neil Boyer from the Peace Corps Headquarters said they aim to learn how they can integrate community-managed inclusive and sustainable DRR and Emergency Warning System (EWS) practices in consultation with the governments in the communities they serve. The countries mentioned are considered at high risk of super typhoons, hurricanes, and coastal flooding.

“We don’t want to learn by mistake. We want to learn from people who have been doing these for years, in some cases for decades, that we could learn these best practices. So when we go back to our countries, we could propose maybe we could integrate disaster risk management in schools, maybe we could work with you to integrate disaster risk management,” he said. 

Boyer said they have chosen the Philippines for a study visit because it is a global leader in risk reduction being one of the most at risk for typhoons and earthquakes.

The Peace Corps DRR focal persons sat with the various stakeholders of La Trinidad for knowledge sharing and interaction.

Engr. Felipe Esnara, Jr. shared the best practices of La Trinidad in DRRM and EWS including the DRRM and EWS projects of the U.S. Peace Corps volunteers in the municipality

Awingan also underlined the whole-of-community approach in DRRM which he said is the best practice of the municipality.

“The most important thing is that we have a very supportive community that accepts DRRM entails the participation of everyone,” he said.

Representatives of the Epiphany Christian Academy of La Trinidad, Inc., Benguet National High School, and the Philippine Red Cross also shared their best practices on DRRM.

Salda thanked the Peace Corps volunteers who have contributed in boosting the DRRM of the municipality. – Debbie E. Gasingan