Now Hall of Famer; Pampanga wins Gawad Kalasag for best disaster management

The Pampanga Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (Pampanga PDRRMC) is now a hall of famer after it has won the Gawad Kalasag 2016 Award in Central Luzon for the third straight year.

The Gawad Kalasag (Kalamidad at Sakuna Labanan, Sariling Galing ang Kaligtasan) Award is conferred by the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) to local DRRMCs that have implemented best practices and undertaken humanitarian assistance.

Vice Governor Dennis “Delta” Pineda, vice chair of the Pampanga PDRRMC, received the award on behalf of Gov. Lilia Pineda in rites held by the OCD-Central Luzon at the Subic International Convention Center in Subic Bay Freeport on Saturday, Oct. 15.

“The Gawad Kalasag Awards the provincial government has been clinching since 2014, 2015 and this year affirm that the Pineda administration has really prioritized the saving of lives by making our communities prepared to prevent disasters or deal with these,” Angelina Blanco, Pampanga PDRRMC officer, said.

The Pampanga PDRRMC is recognized for several breakthroughs.

It pioneered in Central Luzon the construction and establishment of a three-storey permanent evacuation center in Barangay San Isidro in Magalang town. It also converted two technology centers in Porac and Floridablanca towns into evacuation centers. It began land banking by buying 10 hectares in Barangay Sta. Maria in Mexico town as a relocation site and possibly a trading post for the agriculture sector.

Through colored stickers, it tagged houses in remote coastal villages to be able to prioritize the rescue of elderly (orange), persons with disabilities and ailments (red) and children (yellow).

It has organized a wide network for information dissemination in disaster preparedness, mobilizing 550 public school teachers and 9,000 Nanay (mothers) community volunteers) to assist village leaders.
The Pampanga PDRRMC also earned the nods of a panel of evaluators because it is found to be well-equipped for rescue missions and medical emergencies. It has also five backhoes on barge that deepen creeks and rivers. It has trucks capable of delivering fuel and water.

It has forged partnerships with the Pampanga Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Philippine Red Cross, Pampanga Association of Water Districts, Pampanga Truckers Association, Center for Emergency Aid and Rehabilitation Inc. (CONCERN), Pampanga Disaster Risk Reduction Network and Association of Health Workers.

After doing humanitarian assistance in Tacloban and Samar that bore the wrath of Super Typhoon “Yolanda” in November 2013, the Pampanga PDRRMC made rescue and relief missions to flood victims of Typhoon “Lando” in Nueva Ecija in October 2015.

The Gawad Kalasag 2016 Award also went to DRRMCs in Olongapo City (highly urbanized city), Cabanatuan City (component city), Dipaculao town in Aurora (municipal), Barangay Pagas in Cabanatuan City (rural), Barangay Del Rosario in the City of San Fernando in Pampanga (urban).

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