The Local Government Academy (LGA), with the support of the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID), is implementing a project entitled “Strengthening the Capacities of Philippine Local Governments in Disaster Risk Reduction” (SCPLG-DRR). The provinces of Zambales, Northern Samar, and Davao del Sur were selected as the pilot areas of the project.
The SCPLG-DRR intends to help in strengthening the system of disaster risk reduction in the Philippines, focusing at the community level and the local government units. For this purpose, the following results are pursued: (1) disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation included and integrated within the policies, plans, and local budgets; (2) local communities are equipped with the skills and capabilities needed to address the impacts of disasters; (3) increased capacity in disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation of Local DRR Committees, offices, and operation centers at the local level; and (4) disaster response operations and relief well established.
As part of the SCPLG-DRR activities, the LGA-AECID Project Management Office (PMO) conducted an Initial Scoping and Field Validation in the Province of Zambales on April 20-21, 2016. The activity aimed to determine capacity development needs and to get a better view of the DRR governance in the province. The PMO, led by Ms. Josephine Juanite, met with the Provincial Director of the DILG, Dir. Armie Bactad, along with the members of the Provincial DRRM Council and the Provincial DRRM Officer. Ms. Juanite provided a basic orientation on the SCPLG-DRR, the objectives of the field visit, a short lecture on the fund utilization guide, and a venue for levelling off of expectations.
Also, the PMO met with the Governor of Zambales, Hon. Hermogenes E. Ebdane, Jr., to discuss the project.
Ocular visits to the PDRRM Office and the provincial operation center were undertaken to know more about the province’s DRR-CCA-related plans, policies, programs and advocacies. Also, part of the itinerary was the visit to two high risk municipalities in Zambales – Sta. Cruz and Masinloc. The residents of Barangay Bayto in Sta. Cruz and Barangay Sta. Rita in Masinloc were interviewed. At the end of the field visit, the PMO and PD Bactad discussed the results of the Initial Scoping and Field Validation in the province and the ways forward for the SCPLG-DRR Project.
The following week, the Project Management Office (PMO) conducted the activity at Catarman, Northern Samar, also one of the pilot provinces for the project on April 26-27, 2016. The group was welcomed in Catarman by the members of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, led by Jose L. Ong, Jr., Governor of Northern Samar. They also met with the PDRRMO Amancio P. Unay, Jr. for the discussion and assessment of the province’s current situation. Field visits in high risk municipalities namely Catarman and Laoang were also conducted. Interviews on the community members were conducted in Barangay Little Venice in Laoang and Barangay Baybay in Catarman.
Initial Scoping and Validation for the third pilot province, Davao Del Sur, will be conducted soon after the elections.