CITY OF SAN FERNANDO – The Office of Civil Defense Regional Office III (OCDRO III) is all set for the conduct of 22nd National Gawad KALASAG (KAlamidad at Sakuna LAbanan, SAriling Galing ang Kaligtasan) (GK) Seal and Special Awards for Excellence in Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) and Humanitarian Assistance scheduled on October 28, 2022.
This is after OCDRO III held a Regional Orientation led by Regional Director (RD) Cesar M. Idio, CESE on February 15, 2022, via video teleconference with Central Luzon Local DRRM Officers (LDRRMOs), concerned partner agencies and CSOs who aim and intend to participate in the said event. The GK Orientation held updated the interested parties on the new GK Seal Guidelines and the updates of the LDRRMCO Assessment Toolkit. Further, it provided a venue to familiarize the LGUs with the GK Checklist for Special Recognition and to share the common observations seen during the 2021 assessment.
Director Idio emphasized the importance of the GK and shared that the “GK program was transformed into a GK Seal and Special Awards for Excellence in Disaster Risk Reduction and Management and Humanitarian Assistance and adopted a mandatory assessment of all Local Government Units (LGUs) specifically Provinces, Cities, and Municipalities (PCM); continued competition for Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), and special recognition for individuals and organizations, based on past experiences and lessons learned.”
He also solicited the support and full cooperation of all Local Government Units and RDRRMC member-agencies and CSOs in Central Luzon for this year’s GK, stressing that the possible recognition they may receive after passing the assessment, will be a basis for improving the Region’s capacities and increasing its resilience towards disaster and emergencies.
In 2021, the GK Seal at the National level was canceled due to increasing number of COVID-19 cases and mobility restrictions in most Regions. Yet, the OCDRO III together with the members of the Regional Validation Committee (RVC) continued the implementation of the Assessment of Local DRRM Councils and Offices (LDRRMCOs), by which a total of 129 LGUs that submitted their self-assessment tool were reviewed and assessed.
This year’s GK Seal and Special Awards for Excellence in Disaster Risk Reduction and Management and Humanitarian Assistance criteria, under the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) Memorandum Circular (MC) No. 02, series of 2022, was explained in-depth by the Richard C. Santos, Head of the Central Luzon Regional GK Secretariat.
Santos stated that, “under NDRRMC MC 02, s.2022, the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Councils (RDRRMCs) were directed to commence the GK Seal for 2022 search covering the: (1) GK Seal for Local DRRM Councils and Offices, (2) GK Special Awards for CSOs (that is for Best Civil Society Organization), Best People’s Organization, and Best Volunteer Organization); (3) Best Private Organizations; (4) Best Government Emergency Management and Response Teams (GEMs); and (5) GK Special Recognition for Individuals and Organizations.”
Moreover, Santos presented the Categories of Awards and Incentives, Application and Selection Process for GK Seal for LDRRMO and Special Awards Categories, Selection Committees, Utilization of GK Cash Incentives, GK Awarding Ceremonies, Logistical and Administrative Arrangement, Timeline of Activities, among others.
GK is an annual award for outstanding contributions in the field of Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) and Humanitarian Assistance. It is the principal mechanism by which the NDRRMC advances awareness of the best practices of DRRM and humanitarian response and action. Further, it aims to appreciate individuals, groups or institutions which have shown remarkable courage, heroism, and sacrifice in times of emergencies, be its natural or human- induced.
Finally, the concept of GK was adopted from the Filipino term “Kalasag” (shield) used by early Filipinos as a means of protection from attacks of enemies and harmful animals. (RCG) (with reports from the NDRRMC)