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Strengthening implementation of humanitarian response and DRR and Governance: Learning from the Camarines Norte Provincial DRRM Council

Thursday, June 1, 2017

 

Camarines Norte is identified as one of the provinces in the country high-risk to hydrometeorological and geological hazards. It is facing the Pacific Ocean and traversed by the Guinyangan Fault. All its 12 municipalities are highly susceptible to flooding, earthquake, and rainfall and earthquake induced landslide. The 9 coastal municipalities are exposed to storm/ coastal surges and tsunami.

 

Given its rich disaster experience, the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) of Camarines Norte has been actively involved in disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM) not just in the province, but also throughout the country. The PDRRMC is recognized as one of the key actors in DRRM and governance in the Philippines and was hailed as the “Best PDRRMC” at the regional level of Gawad Kalasag in 2013. It currently serves as one of the member organizations of the Consortium for Humanitarian Action and Protection (CHAP) for the “Upscaling Humanitarian Action: Utilizing Good Practice Model and 'Whole of Society Approach' in Rights-Based Humanitarian Action Project.”

 

 

 

Leading Capacity- building with CHAP

 

An activity entitled, “Training on Rights-based Approach on Humanitarian Action and Protection,” was led by the PDDRMC together with CHAP last March 27 -29, 2017. The training aims to build the capacity and awareness on humanitarian response in the local and global disaster contexts and DRRM framework.

 

A total of 48 participants from six municipalities in the province participated the training. Each municipality was represented by Barangay (Brgy.) council representatives, and elementary school teachers and principals. The following municipalities, barangays and elementary schools joined:

  • Municipality (Mun.) of Labo- Brgy. Baay and Malapat Elementary (Elem.) School;

  • Mun. of Jose Panganiban- Brgy. San Rafael and San Rafael Elem. School;

  • Mun. of Capalonga- Brgy. Tanauan and Tanauan Elem. School;

  • Mun. of Sta. Elena- Brgy. Villa San Isidro and Villa San Isidro Elem. School;

  • Mun. of San Vicente- Brgy. San Jose and L. Opeda Elem. School; and

  • Mun. of San Lorenzo Ruiz- Brgy. Salvacion and Salvacion Elem. School.

Joey O. Totanes, the Training Division Unit Head of PDRRMC revealed that CHAP has been significant in enhancing the awareness on humanitarian principles and care for humanitarian workers.

 

 

“Sa pamamagitan ng CHAP, mas naunawaan na rin namin ang humanitarian principles at standards at ang care for humanitarian workers. Higit na rin kaming naging concern sa mga volunteers namin. Mas naging conscious na rin kami, kasi noon baka namistook nila na kinakailangan din pala na ang mga actors na ito, ang mga responders na ito na may sapat na pagkalinga o pangangalaga upang maibigay din nila ang necessary at mas makapagprovide din sila ng kanilang mga gawain.”

 

Joey also elaborated that CHAP was instrumental in the polishing of DRR process and activities, including module development and deeper engagement of manifold actors in the community.

 

“Pati ang mga process mismo, mas maganda kasi higit na smooth ang flow ng mga activities. DIto po sa CHAP, tinahi-tahi natin, yung mga modules, kung paano ito idedeliver, kung paano ito ma-accept at kung paano rin makuha ang idea ng community. Bawat konteksto ng DRR ay mas naipapaliwanag kasi nagbibigay ng halimbawa base sa karanasan kung saan nagagamit po natin at mas nakakapaginspire at motivate po tayo. Sa whole of society (approach), mas nabibigyan natin ng halaga ang school, ang community at ang mga organisasyong tumutulong.”

 

Working closely with the communities

 

As earlier mentioned, being with CHAP helped the PDRRMC become closer to the communities. Other than that, PDRRMC was able to collaborate with more barangays for the training on the usage and distribution of rain gauge, which is implemented under the project of the consortium. Catalina M. Salvador, a Brgy. Kagawad of Villa San Isidro in Sta. Elena, Camarines Norte shared that they frequently undergo flooding events and they have been accustomed to it over time:

 

“Hindi na namin nabibilang dahil sa dalas, dala ng pagbabago ng klima. “Sanay na ang mga tao dito dahil madalas tumaas ang tubig baha.”

 

The PDDRMC has also collaborated with the education sector in the course of the engagement of principals and teachers in the CHAP and rain gauge training. Arleen G. Gache, Principal of L. Opeda Elementary School of Brgy. Kalintaan in Talisay, Camarines Norte who participated in both trainings expressed appreciation:

 

“Malaking tulong at maganda ang mga trainings. Dito masusukat ang relasyon ng Parent Teacher’s Association (PTA), barangay at eskwelahan tungo sa koordinasyon. Makakatulong din ito sa aspeto ng monitoring at reporting [ng mga bagyo, dala ng paggamit ng rain gauge]. Nakasalalay kasi sa amin ang pagmamatyag.”

 

Catalina also underscored how valuable the trainings are:

 

“Ang laki ng maitutulong nito sa barangay namin at sa school. Lahat ay nadiscuss at pinaliwanag sa amin kung ano talaga ang mangyayari. Napag-aralan na namin kung paano talaga maghanda. Kapag nagmeeting ang council, talagang ibabahagi ko ito. Mahalaga kasi na may alam ka para handa ka sa giyera.”

 

Aside from the trainings with CHAP, the PDRRMC has also led trainings as an institution. They have led 15 batches of trainings on DRR with the education sector, covering both the elementary and high school level professionals. This coming July, they will also facilitate trainings on DRR and Climate Change Adaptation. 

 

 

Impact of CHAP

 

Due to the participation in the CHAP, PDRRMC has further appreciated the relevance of communities’ role in DRR and the council has also perceived how important it is to make the communities aware of their right to participation.

 

“Yung mga naging participants natin na mga taga- school, mga barangay officials, sa pamamagitan ng CHAP, nakikita natin doon na mahalaga pala ang role ng bawat isa at sila mismo nakikita nila kung paano kumilos. Kasi usually, hindi sila nabibibgyan ng pagkakataon sa mga pagsasanay, lalo na ang mga taga-interior barangay. Hindi sila aware na may mga ganito pala, may proseso, may pondo silang pwedeng magamit, may budget at pwede din makatulong ang school, ang barangay in terms of resources at ang link ang pagtulong ng general PTA para mag-knit ang school at barangay. Sila ang nagsisilbing tulay para mas mapalakas ang ugnayan sa community.”

- Joey O. Totanes

 

He also recounted that the involvement in CHAP has magnified the substance of “coordination” with various agencies and it is imperative to better advocate for capacity building in DRR:

 

“Napakahalaga ng coordination, ng networking sa DRR lalo pa’t hindi sapat ang training resources kaya pinagsama- sama namin ang kakayahan ng bawat isa para makapagprovide tayo ng services sa mga tao ng province. Pagdating sa resources, mas marami na din tayong nakakatuwang na mga grupo gaya ng NGOs at nagbibigay din sila ng resources na depende sa kanila program at nag-aadjust na din po kami sa kung anong hindi nila hawak na mga areas sa project para magkacomplement ang mga training na binibigay namin sa kanila sa binibigay ng Non Government Organizations (NGOs). Sa people’s organization, gaya ng pagkwento ng Buklod Tao ng kanilang karansanan ay mas nalaman ng mga participants na pwede pala, kaya din pala naming mga nasa komunidad na bumuo ng isang organisasyon na tutulong sa local government unit (LGU) para kami mismo ay may kalakasan. Yung mga sharing ng best practices ng mga CHAP members ay accomplishment natin at hindi imposible na magawa din ito sa communities.”

 

 

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