In the Philippines, disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM) is weakest at the barangay level because of the lack of resources and capacity of the people responsible for it. Every city and municipality in the country is divided into barangays. Aside from being the smallest of all types of local government units, they are also the closest to the people; this makes them the first line of defense for every disaster that strikes the country. Thus, their structures and capacity need to be enhanced, vulnerabilities of households should be addressed, and their economic and social capacity should be augmented.
Together with our partner organization - Ecosystems Work for Essential Benefits, Incorporated (Ecoweb), we implemented a project which intends to improve the DRRM capacity of some specific barangays in the Municipality of Munai and Salvador, which were among the worst hit during the onslaught of Typhoon Vinta (international: Tembin) in December 2017.
The project aims to achieve its objectives by utilizing two approaches: one is Disaster Risk Reduction capacity building and the other is livelihood recovery support. These approaches involve conducting workshops and trainings to increase knowledge on DRRM, emergency drills and simulations, planning and implementing mitigation projects, among others. In building up the capacity of the community, members of the barangay and other community structures like self-help groups among women, youth and farmers were actively involved in the planning and implementation; it maximized local actors and agencies’ potential and let them lead their own development.
An informational and educational campaign on COVID-19 facts was also part of the project. This is to raise the community’s awareness on the ongoing pandemic. Barangay officials and Health/First Aid and Psychosocial Support personnel were involved in the decision-making and implementation of these activities. To add, a tree planting activity was also conducted in some of the project’s target barangays.
The Special Barangay Assembly serves as a venue for the local officials to transparently report on the activities conducted, its transactions, financial reports, and other aspects of development planning to its constituents. There was also a presentation of the barangay’s updated Local Development Plan and Barangay DRRM Plan, along with the introduction of newly established Barangay DRRM Committee. This avenue provided an opportunity for the community members to become aware of the strategically planned programs, project and activities that are integrated in their Land Use and Local Development Plan. In the end, the updated plan was adopted.
Simulations and drills are some of the most effective ways to evaluate and test disaster preparedness plans. These are also excellent tools for training the community and assessing their decision-making processes, teamwork, and coordination in preparation for disasters.
Together with the Municipality of Munai DRRM Office and the Provincial DRRM Office of Lanao Del Norte, Ecoweb Inc. designed a set of practical guidelines for planning and carrying out simulations and drills in Barangay Bacayawan and Lininding. Aside from the guidelines, the barangays were also trained to gain other specific skills that can potentially contribute to search and rescue operations, conducting early emergency warning systems and other fundamental abilities.
Simulations and drills were conducted for flooding, landslide, and earthquake. 81 members and volunteers of the Barangay DRRM Committee from the project’s target areas participated in these activities. Out of the total, 42 were women-leaders in the puroks* and self-help groups. This activity was a collaboration between the barangays, Ecoweb, Provincial and Municipal DRRM Offices, Rural Health Units and Contact Tracers (for COVID-19).
|Project||Enhancing Local Capacity on Community-based Disaster Risk Reduction and Management for Typhoon Vinta Affected Barangays in Munai and Salvador, Lanao de Norte|
|Place/Region||Province of Lanao del Norte, Philippines|
|Partner||Ecosystems Work for Essential Benefits, Incorporated (EcoWEB, Inc.)|
Most vulnerable households; local officials; and leaders
|Sponsor||Aktion Deutschland Hilft|