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Towards a Child Centered Disaster Risk Resilient Municipality

DRREAM BIG Phase 2, a project launched by UNICEF together with Center for Disaster Preparedness (CDP), covered two barangays in the Municipality of Paracale in Camarines Norte. The project designed to implement community based projects that showcase child-centered DRR initiatives not only on the two focused barangays but also to the remaining barangays in Paracale. Aside from this, real and active participation from the youth on project endeavors supported by the councils and other stakeholders in both barangay and municipal level was also part of the project’s goal.

Pool of Trainers and Barangays on CC-DRR

From the two-focused barangays, Labnig and Dalnac, the Municipal DRRM Officer, Mr. Adel Zamudio, requested to include the other 25 barangays in the municipality as beneficiaries of the capacity building activities given by the project. Since then, 22 representatives from Barangay Labnig, Barangay Dalnac, DepEd and other local offices participated in various capacity building activities during the first phase of DRREAM BIG project up to now.

To address the request of Mr. Zamudio, clustered trainings on Child-Centered DRR were held last May and August. The pool of child-centered DRR trainers, Liga ng mga Barangay, and project implementers helped each other in ensuring the success of the clustered trainings for the remaining barangays.

These clustered trainings were attended by local barangay officials and other representatives from the community, including the youth. The training became a venue for the participants to level-off on the basic concepts of disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation. Also, the definition of a child and its rights was also considered in the training since they are pushing for a DRR resilient community that is child-centered. Training participants also acquired skills on generating data for profiling and risk analysis thru creative and popular methods in using various community risk assessment tools. Moreover, topics on strengthening DRR mechanism for both the community and the schools were discussed as well.

Youth Representation in DRR

Sessions on existing standards such as international and local laws pertaining to child’s rights and protection, particularly the Republic Act 10821, paved way for the participation of youth on DRR in the Barangay and Municipal Level. As a response, youth representatives from the barangays were encouraged to participate in the conducted activities for them to gain knowledge on CC-DRR. Aside from this, participating barangays made their commitment thru an agreement to make a legislation that ensure the participation of youth to the Barangay Disaster Risks and Reduction Management Committees (BDRRMC) in their respective localities.

Currently, the focused barangays of the project, Barangay Dalnac and Labnig, are on its second reading for the passage of an ordinance allowing for youth participation in their BDRRMC and its sub-committees. The effort of the two barangays signals the start of the municipality’s fulfillment to their commitment of ensuring child and youth participation and involvement. As we continue, the project together with the municipality and its barangays will work as one in order to achieve not only the full participation of youth in the BDRRMC, but also the goal to have a Child Centered Disaster Risk Resilient Municipality.

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