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Cordillera, Philippine goes online to strengthen disaster resilience

The Cordillera Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (CRDRRMC) is engaging with local DRRM stakeholders for the second year of the Cordillera Resilience Caravan through an online platform.

The Office of Civil Defense (OCD) in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) in 2019 led the conduct of Provincial DRRM Caravans in the region, which served as a platform for the Regional and the Provincial DRRM Councils to interface and discuss important matters pertaining to the implementation of various DRRM-related programs and activities. It also enabled CRDRRMC to update stakeholders on the programs, projects, and activities being implemented in the region.

This year, in embracing the “new and better normal” resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, OCD-CAR led the first of two-scheduled Cordillera Virtual Resilience Caravan on 25 August. Provincial and municipal DRRM officers from 42 local government units (LGUs) in the provinces of Apayao, Benguet, Kalinga, and Ifugao participated.

At the event, the OCD Director for Policy Development and Planning Service Tecson, John Lim, gave updates on the move to create a Department of Disaster Resilience and on the Accredited Community Disaster Volunteers initiative.

At the regional level, a representative of the OCD-CAR Operations Section provided updates on COVID-19 responses in the region. Representatives from the regional offices of the Bureau of Local Government Finance, National Economic Development Authority, and Department of the Interior and Local Government presented status reports on the Bayanihan and Local DRRM funds, the Cordillera Rehabilitation and Recovery Plan for COVID-19, and the preparedness initiative for hydromet hazards, respectively.

The CRDRRMC Chair and OCD-CAR Regional Director Albert Mogol outlined the importance of the activity, which is to impart relevant information, strengthen harmony, and intensify convergence among all stakeholders from the national and regional levels to local DRRM stakeholders.

In response, the Kalinga Provincial DRRM Chairperson Governor lauded OCD-CAR and the CRDRRMC for spearheading the initiative, which is important for sharing knowledge, experiences, and good practices, as well as for the exchange of ideas and analysis that will help ensure a maximum level of preparedness through the harmonisation of strategies and approaches.

He also assured that the Kalinga provincial government and DRRM Office will do their part as it embraces the new normal and in preparedness and response for possible hazards that the rainy season may bring.

The National DRRM Council Executive Director and OCD National Administrator USEC, Ricardo Jalad, in a video message, commended OCD-CAR, the CRDRRMC, Cordillera LGUs, and other partners in pushing for a safer, adaptive, and disaster-resilient Cordillera as the danger posed by the COVID pandemic can further be aggravated by other natural hazards.

The second Regional Resilience Caravan is set on 1 September to be joined by DRRM stakeholders in 40 LGUs from the provinces of Abra and Mountain Province and Baguio City.

The government recently developed a digital contract tracing application ‘StaySafe.PH’ for Angeles City residents. The application collates information on the users’ health condition, obtained through a 300-metre radius scan.

As OpenGov reported, after downloading the application, users need to answer questions regarding their current health condition, which will then be recorded in the database. It will help identify those who have mild and severe conditions, and users of the app will be able to see those who are within their 300-metre radius. A representative noted that once the city government uploaded positive cases, the data will be shown to all users so they will be more aware and conscious of the places where they are going.

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