With this year’s theme, “Kahandaan at Kaligtasan ng Pamayanan, Pundasyon ng Kaunluran”, The Office of Civil Defense IV-A – Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC) CALABARZON launched the annual National Disaster Consciousness Month (NDCM) on June 30, 2014 during the PRO IV-A Flag Raising Ceremony, at Camp Vicente Lim, Calamba City.
Declared under the Executive Order No. 137 on August 10, 1999, NDCM is being observed in the month of July and this year’s celebration focused on upholding disaster preparedness and awareness among stakeholders with the mission of establishing safe and resilient communities against disasters which is strongly believed as one of the factors toward achieving progress and development. To put emphasis on the theme, the Local Government Units (LGU’s) through the Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Councils (LDRRMCs) have lined up various activities such as drills, DRRM training and summits. The desired outcome is having the family, which is the basic unit of the community, prepared and fully aware of DRRM issues and enhanced their capacities for self-protection and safety in times of disasters.
The launching ceremony of NDCM 2014 has also been replicated at the provincial and city/municipality level making it a simultaneous activity on the said date. To lend significance to the occasion, a 30-second simultaneous sounding of siren have signaled the start of the celebration, followed by a community prayer for the disaster victims, and the releasing of pigeons which symbolize peace and life.
The said event was led by the RDRRMC IV-A Chairperson, Director Vicente F. Tomazar with the Regional Vice Chairpersons of the Council namely; DOST IV-A Regional Director Alexander Madrigal, Vice Chairperson for Prevention and Mitigation; DILG IV-A Regional Director Josefina E. Castilla-Go, Vice Chairperson for Preparedness; DSWD IV-A Regional Director Leticia T. Diokno, Vice Chairperson for Disaster Response; and NEDA IV-A Regional Director Agnes M. Espinas, Vice Chairperson for Recovery. PCSUPT. Jesus T. Gatchalian, the Regional Director of PRO IV-A was the host of the significant occasion. Other attendees were Heads of Office of government line agencies who were also members of the RDRRMS CALABARZON; DPWH, DOH, DepEd, AFP, Philippine Coast Guard, BFP, DTI, DA, BFAR and Civil Society Organizations.
Significantly, the observance of the NDCM 2014 also coincides with the Police Community Relations Month and the Nutrition Month in which themes for this year are also closely related to DRRM issues.
This year’s theme also indicates the importance of the participation of our community to expedite disaster awareness to continuously uphold progress and development, to adapt to the effects of climate changes and to help others be part of the advocacy of being a disaster-free country.
In keeping with the theme of this year’s NDCM, the RDRRMC IV-A seeks to promote the building of ‘community resilience’ as a major priority in the DRR strategy in the most vulnerable communities across CALABARZON. The RDRRMC IV-A’s battle cry ‘Sariling Kaligtasan… Pangalagaan… Paghandaan’ has been a major strategy wherein through increased knowledge, experience, and its gradual improvement has yielded significant results. It can be noted that during the past 3 years, the RDRRMC IV-A collaborated with agency partners, Regional Line Agencies, LGUs, CSOs, Private Sector, Academe, and the media to mitigate and reduce disaster risks while implementing coping mechanisms throughout several communities in order to build their resilience to natural disasters and climate change. In this regard, the RDRRMC IV-A is committed in utilizing all its resources in an effort to promote a culture of safety and build CALABARZON’s capacity to cope.
--reports from cops