PDRRMC shuns Gawad Kalasag; questions selection of winners

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO- The Pampanga Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) will temporarily stop participating in the Gawad Kalasag (GK) competition of the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) starting this year, Governor Dennis “Delta” Pineda announced during the first PDRRMC quarterly meeting on Wednesday here.

Governor Pineda, PDRRMC chair, instead recommended to OCD Administrator amd Defense Undersecretary Ricardo Jalad to conduct a review of standards and how these were applied in the recent selection of top three PDRRMCs. 

“I understand that the GK (Kalamidad at Sakuna LAbanan, SAriling Galing ang Kaligtasan) is a recognition of excellent practitioners of disaster risk reduction. The GK should continue to be committed to its objective. With due respect, local governments should be truthfully assessed of their disaster risk reduction capabilities so that their constituents and communities are really safe,” the governor explained. 

Governor Pineda sought clarifications why Pampanga did not land in the top three slots in the 2018 edition of the award. Pampanga placed second in the 2016 GK search and bagged the GK champion in 2017.

Pineda said his request for a revalidation of Pampanga’s scores was not done, which he sought in a letter to Undersecretary Jalad on Aug. 7, 2019.  Benito Salvador Jr., head of the 21st GK head secretariat, replied on Oct. 8, 2019 that ”field validation is conducted for top three entries which garnered the percentile scoring of at least 80 during the desk evaluation.” 

“Our people and partners have never been lacking in efforts to do best practices in all aspects of disaster risk reduction. Why we failed to make it in the top three is a big question mark to me. Did we not meet standards? What did we not comply with? Did we not follow protocols?” the governor asked.

While waiting for answers,  Governor Pineda instructed PDRRMC executive officer Angelina Blanco to follow protocols set by the OCD in carrying out quick reaction responses requested by local governments. 

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