La Trinidad, Benguet is top LGU in disaster risk reduction and management

La Trinidad, Benguet is top LGU in disaster risk reduction and management

GAWAD KALASAG. La Trinidad, Benguet was recognized as one of the country’s most outstanding first-, second-, and third-class municipalities in the field of DRRM. The award was received by Councilor Guiller Galwan, Mayor Romeo K. Salda (center), MDRRM Officer Yoshio Labi, and MDRRM Project Engineer Felipe P. Esnara Jr.


La Trinidad, Benguet, a municipality that has benefited from Community-based Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (CBDRRM) training by the Aboitiz Foundation and AboitizPower subsidiary Hedcor, was recognized as one of the country’s most outstanding first-, second-, and third-class municipalities in the fields of DRRM.

Last December, La Trinidad, Benguet bagged the National Gawad KALASAG (KAlamidad at Sakuna LAbanan, SAriling Galing ang Kaligtasan) Award for the first- to third-class municipalities category for the second consecutive time (In 2018, the town also won first place for the same category).

Gawad KALASAG was originally established as the country’s premier recognition scheme for various stakeholders that design and implement DRRM programs.

The Aboitiz Foundation-led CBDRRM empowers communities to identify, analyze, treat, monitor, and evaluate risks through science-based methods. It entails participatory planning with vulnerable groups to train them in making informed decisions while they prepare, implement, and assess the Barangay DRRM plan.

As a result, these communities are more capable of addressing their vulnerabilities and coping from disasters.

Barangay Captain Jonnie Puroc of Barangay Alno, La Trinidad said the training was beneficial to the villagers as their municipality is prone to natural hazards such as landslides and flash floods.

“The Aboitiz Group has been an active community partner and we sincerely appreciate its effort to make sure that our community is safe and secure at all times,” Puroc said.

When Typhoon Ompong (Mangkhut) hit Benguet in September 2018, the local government reported zero casualty in barangays Alapang, Alno, Beckel, Bineng, and Shilan. These are host communities of Aboitiz Power Corporation subsidiary Hedcor, Inc. that were trained in CBDRRM.

“We live in an era of unmitigated risks and hazards, so it is absolutely essential for us to be prepared and know the proper measures to confront these challenges head-on. We are proud of the accomplishments achieved by the LGU of La Trinidad, Benguet — may they continue to succeed in forwarding a mindset of preparedness and resilience across the municipality and beyond,” said Maribeth L. Marasigan, Aboitiz Foundation President and Chief Operating Officer.


Everybody’s Business

La Trinidad, Benguet’s recognition comes after five local cooperatives (Thanksgiving Multipurpose Cooperative, Barangay Alapang Multipurpose Cooperative, Lamut Multipurpose Cooperative, Wangal Multipurpose Cooperative, and Shilan Multipurpose Cooperative) underwent last year a series of disaster resilience-related training workshops.

These were conducted by the Aboitiz Group, through theAboitiz Foundation, WeatherPhilippines Foundation, Aboitiz Equity Ventures – Risk and Security, and Hedcor Benguet, in cooperation with the Mines and Geosciences Bureau.

La Trinidad, Benguet Municipal DRRM Project Engineer Felipe Esnara Jr. said that disaster resilience is “everybody’s business.” “Each individual should be capacitated with training and information on disaster and its components, which the local government is continuously working on,” Esnara said.

To date, the Aboitiz Group has partnered with nearly 600 organizations and agencies, trained more than 9,000 individuals on weather and disaster resilience, and developed 57 CBDRRM and 14 Business Continuity Plans.