BAGUIO CITY- In line with the 2023 National Disaster Resilience Month (NDRM), Cordillera Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (CRDRRMC) Vice-Chairperson for Disaster Response and Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office CAR Regional Director Leo L. Quintilla enjoined all stakeholders to participate in the different NDRM activities led by the CRDRRMC and continue the efforts of different stakeholders in the region to have a resilient Cordillera.

The observance of the 2023 NDRM aims to focus on ensuring that the well-being of every Filipino is well taken care of so that they can efficiently contribute to our effort to build a disaster-resilient region.

Under Executive Order No. 29 series of 2017, the NDRM is being observed in the country for the month of July. The observance also seeks to strengthen the implementation of four- thematic areas of Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) including disaster prevention and mitigation, disaster preparedness, disaster response and early recovery, and disaster rehabilitation and recovery. This year, the NDRM 2023 is being celebrated with the theme: “BIDAng Pilipino: Building a Stronger Filipino Well-being towards Disaster Resilience”.

In his message, Dir. Quintilla congratulated the Cordillera RDRRMC for the conduct of the kick-off of NDRM 2023 adding that the DSWD together with the CRDRRMC response cluster is ready to respond to calamities and hazards in the region.  “Disaster preparedness is also very important because the next six months of the year we have to be prepared.  The CRDRRMC is preparing policies, resolutions to support our preparedness at the same time preparation to any disaster,” he said.

The DSWD Field Office CAR serves as the CRDRRMC Vice-Chairperson for Disaster Response. The agency is the lead in the Food and Non-Food Items Cluster, Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) and Internally Displaced Persons Protection (IDPP). During disaster response operations, the agency is mandated to provide augmentation to Local Government Units (LGUs) to respond to the needs of the affected population in times of calamities. Trained DSWD Field Office CAR Staff also provide Psychosocial First Aid to victims of disasters. It seeks to provide emotional support and help to address immediate basic needs and find information, services and social support to victims of trauma while disaster responders also undergo Psychosocial Processing provided by the Field Office personnel which seeks to capacitate responders and partner LGUs.

On July 10, the different stakeholders and CRDRRMC officials led by OCD-CAR Regional Director Albert A. Mogol, DSWD Field Office CAR Director Quintilla, DOST-CAR Regional Director Nancy A. Bantog, NEDA-CAR Director Susan A. Sumbeling, DILG-CAR Chief of the Local Government Capacity Development Division Kristoffer Dave R. Alvarez gather at the Office of Civil Defense CAR Office for the conduct of a Cañao ceremony wherein a native pig is butchered as sacrifice and feasted on.

The Cañao ceremony spearheaded by Ucab, Itogon Barangay Captain Kennedy W. Waclin serve as an offering to the departed ones and prayer for the safety of the stakeholders in the region amidst calamities.

The ritual also asks Kabunyan (God) for his blessing to the regional council and partner agencies in the implementation programs relative to disaster prevention and mitigation, preparedness, response, rehabilitation and recovery in the region.

CRDRRMC Chairperson and OCD-CAR Regional Director Mogol in his guidance message also enjoined all to support the NDRM 2023 observance and asked for the unified and pro-active approach in disaster risk reduction efforts of the DRRM stakeholders in the region.

After the ceremony, the CRDRRMC Chairperson together with the four (4) vice chairpersons of the Cordillera RDRRMC presented the latest updates on disaster risk reduction and management and the thematic area reports.

Meanwhile, DSWD Field Office CAR, Director Quintilla provided updates on the latest initiatives of the agency when it comes to disaster risk reduction and management. This include the readiness of the Field Office which at present maintains the above number of Food and Non-Food Items (NFIs) for the required stockpile.

“We have a new policy in the department that increased our prepositioned goods, at any given time. Last year it was 30,000 Family Food Packs (FFPs), this year we have increase it to 40,000 FFPs and here in the region we are above the requirement,” he added.

Aside from the FFPs, the NFIs requirement also increased to 20,000 NFIs. Director Quintilla stated as of July 10, the Field Office have 29,000 NFIS comprised of family tents, kitchen kits, sleeping kits, family kits, hygiene kits, modular tents, laminated sack and an available standby funds of PHP 4.4 million.

In the region, the Field Office also forged Disaster Relief Prepositioning Agreement (DRPA) to LGUs in the region as one of the innovations of the agency which is intended for the strategic placement of resource augmentation to identified warehouses/ storage facilities in the region. Latest data shows, the agency already inked DRPA with 83 percent of the LGUs in CAR.

The agency was also able to partner with three LGUs namely: Conner and Luna in the province of Apayao and Lagawe in Ifugao province who donated lots to the Field Office in order to create more hubs ready. In addition, there are also 461 DSWD FOCAR trained personnel on the different field in relation to disaster response.

As there is still uncertainty when disasters will strike, the DSWD Field Office CAR continue to ensure its prevention mitigation efforts to avoid the effects of the calamities and ensure readiness and immediate response to help disaster affected communities. #DSWD FIELD OFFICE CAR, SOCIAL MARKETING UNIT, LAUREN ALIMONDO

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