Eastern Visayas LGUs poised for top disaster preparedness recognition

Eastern Visayas LGUs poised for top disaster preparedness recognition

Eastern Visayas sees a rise in LGUs being recognized for disaster risk reduction initiatives, marking an increased commitment to community safety. Photo: Wikipedia

TACLOBAN CITY – The Office of Civil Defense (OCD) in Eastern Visayas announced that a significant surge in the number of local government units (LGUs) in the region will be granted the nation’s premier accolade in disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM) and humanitarian aid this year.

Assistant Regional Director Rey Gozon of OCD Eastern Visayas stated on Wednesday that the figure is set to triple from the eight areas acknowledged in 2022. This notable rise is attributed to provinces, cities, and municipalities that have developed and executed substantial DRRM strategies and initiatives.

Of the 149 LGUs in the region, 107 have presented their records for verification. "33 of them are qualified for final evaluation. The national team is in the process of final validation," Gozon remarked during a recent interview.

This assessment precedes the highly-anticipated "Gawad Kalasag" (Kalamidad at Sakuna Labanan, Sariling Galing ang Kaligtasan) Seal and Special Awards ceremony, scheduled for December 7, 2023. This award honors and promotes exemplary contributions in the realm of DRRM.

Gozon emphasized local governments' growing awareness and active participation in DRRM roles. "This year, we have been very busy since there have been requests from several local government units for DRRM training," he added.

In the previous year, regions including Northern Samar, Southern Leyte, Ormoc City, and certain towns in Eastern Samar and Leyte were the proud recipients of this disaster preparedness accolade.

Drawing its name from the Filipino word for "shield," "Gawad Kalasag" symbolizes the nation's proactive defense against calamities, championing community involvement in crafting and actualizing DRRM agendas.

Given Eastern Visayas’ geographical vulnerability to frequent typhoons from the Philippine Sea, Gozon underscored the pressing need for robust DRRM protocols and activities to safeguard the communities in the region. —iTacloban (Source: PNA)

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