Photo by Marhom Ibrahim
COTABATO CITY—Sixteen (16) local government units (LGUs) across BARMM were recognized for their excellent and outstanding efforts on local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) in a ceremony on Dec. 2, in this city.
The event, dubbed as the 22nd Gawad KALASAG (Kalamidad at Sakuna Labanan, Sariling Galing ang Kaligtasan) Seals Awards led by The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) and Office of Civil Defense (OCD-BARMM), aimed to recognize the local DRRM councils and offices, government response teams, civil society organisations (CSOs), volunteer organizations and individuals who make exemplary contributions in the field of DRRM and climate change adaptation.
National Secretary of the Department of Interior and Local Government Atty. Benjamin “Benhur” Abalos Jr. congratulated and recognized all the honorees’ significant efforts while emphasizing the actions to be taken before, during and after the disaster.
“We are all Filipinos here, working together not just during the crisis […] hindi tayo magpapahuli [dahil] magaling tayo, importante ay nagtutulungan tayong lahat, galingan natin,” the Secretary said.
The highest government award “Beyond Compliant” was given to Municipality of Upi, Maguindanao del Norte.
Meanwhile, the towns of Parang, South Upi, Paglat, Ampatuan, Datu Abdullah Sangki, and Sultan sa Barongis in Maguindanao; Bubong, Piagapo, and Wao in Lanao del Sur; Lamitan City and Tuburan in Basilan; and Talipao in Sulu were awarded for being “Fully Compliant”.
Further, Jolo Emergency Rescue Network (JERN) Inc. was also awarded as Regional Best Government Emergency Management and Response Teams (GEMs).
Plaques of Appreciation were given to the Bangsamoro DRRM Council member agencies as well as DRRM Partners from both the Public and the Private Sectors.
Bangsamoro Civil Defense Regional Director Hamid Bayao pointed out that the purpose of said event was to emphasize that OCD-BARMM provides responsive, efficient and effective services related to research, planning, programming, project development and policy formulation of DRRM’s projects and activities.
“Ang Gawad KALASAG ay ang flagship program ng NDRRMC, sa pangunguna ng OCD-BARMM, na layong palakasin at pagtibayin and bawat pamilya, komunidad, mga institusyon, at establisimyento upang tayo ay maging matatag, resilient sa mga sakuna at bantang panganib,” Bayao said.
Director General Engr. Khalif Dumagay, who represented Interior and Local Government Minister Atty. Naguib Sinarimbo, praised the awardees, saying, “you have proven that we, in the BARMM, can cope with the best LGUs in the country by working together despite complex and complicated transitions while we are currently undergoing both natural and man-made calamities.”
“In Moral Governance, we mean, we will try our very best to make sure that our decision making process and the decisions we made are geared towards one and the same goal matatag, maginhawa at panatag na buhay of Bangsamoro and the whole Filipino nation,” he added.
The NDRRMC, through the National Gawad Kalasag Committee, said there are 135 beyond compliant and 436 fully compliant local government awardees this year. (Johaira Sahidala/BIO)