Located in the Pacific Ocean and Eastern Seaboard, Quinapondan is a fifth class municipality in Eastern Samar with 25 barangays in the coastal and upland areas. The municipality is among the areas devastated by typhoon Haiyan with most of its infrastructures totally damaged. The people have suffered more from multiple losses in their livelihood and properties. After Haiyan, various government and non-government agencies have provided a myriad of interventions in the municipality in DRR including WASH, livelihood, shelter, among many others.
With the help of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Quinapondan has crafted its Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Plan and contingency plans; however, relevant offices believe that a lot needs to be improved in terms of ensuring inclusivity. Their contingency plans have been tested through a simulation exercise conducted last February which proved the need to strengthen the participation of the MDRRMC members, and more importantly the vulnerable sectors. According to Mr. Alejandro Barsana, the municipality is in the process of finalizing their Local DRRM plans as a result of the previous trainings provided by international and national NGOs.
The Center for Disaster Preparedness (CDP) and Oxfam have partnered with the local government of Quinapondan on the adaptation and risk reduction (ARR) mainstreaming orientation to the members of the MDRRMC. The orientation took place in the municipal hall, a few days after the signing of the memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the municipality and the organizations.
Prior to the MOU signing and the orientation, CDP conducted a baseline research study to gather relevant information on the needs of the local government development planning, especially on the integration of ARR to their plans. The study presented pertinent information on the current situation of Quinapondan, as well as the on-going initiative of the local government and the communities.
During the ARR orientation, Mr. Barsana shared that their plans are still in the process of development, “We are still in the process of ensuring that our plans are comprehensive in nature, and would include the specific needs of the vulnerable sectors.” He invited CDP to participate in the finalization.
Mr. Barsana is enthusiastic that the ARR mainstreaming orientation is the first step towards strengthening the municipality’s MDRRMC, "The active involvement of other MDRRMC members is crucial to ensure that the plans would be fully implemented.” During the baseline validation, the municipal disaster risk reduction and management office (MDRRMO) members provided relevant inputs on the study by sharing their current initiatives. The human resource development management (HRDM) Officer of Quinapondan shared that they are in the process of improving their capacity to comply with government mandates such as the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Memorandum Circulars on recruiting, selecting, and training adequate number of staff for the DRRM office. In addition, municipal engineer Jorge Asebias also proposed prevention and mitigation measures to complement the plans already made by the municipality.
The ARR mainstreaming orientation in Quinapondan is one of the very few initiatives that affirmed the role of the DRRM officer in uniting the council members. “I have realized that my role in uniting the MDRRC is significant. I am not alone in this effort, and I am happy to see that the council members are present in this endeavor. This would set the tone in what we want Quinapondan to be in the near future: safe and resilient,” Mr. Barsana concluded.
Prior to the ARR mainstreaming, Mayor Nedito Campo signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with CDP and Oxfam to affirm their commitment to this initiative. “We really appreciate your intervention in our humble town. We are lucky to have another partner towards the attainment of a resilient Quinapondan,” he said. In addition, Mayor Campo committed full support to the project activities. “Let us know how we can work together. We are very willing to share our resources to ensure that this endeavor would become successful,” the Mayor concluded.