PhilDHRRA launches disaster resilience project for Yolanda-struck town

The Philippine Partnership for the Development of Human Resources in Rural Areas (PhilDHRRA) formally launched its project to assist three towns in North Cebu prepare for disasters.

Dubbed as “Building Resilience of Typhoon Haiyan-Affected Communities in Northern Cebu”, the project aims to strengthen local communities and build resilience against disasters and climate change, said Project Manager Luchie Almagro-Blanco.

The project targets three municipalities: Tabogon, Medellin and Daanbantayan.

“We have three pilot barangays for each town but will soon cover half of the number of their barangays by the end of the project,” she said.

According to Niño Damaolao, area coordinator for Tabogon, the project started May this year and is targeted to end by December 2015.

Almagro-Blanco revealed the project has Php 13 million budget through ActionAid, an international non-government organization who has been extending relief and rehabilitation efforts for Yolanda-affected North Cebu.

The activities include capacity building and assisting the community in creating and implementing disaster risk reduction and management plans for each barangay, she said.

Task Force Paglig-on Head Baltz Tribunalo remarked, “This project is a manifestation of good collaboration between local government and national and international non-government organizations (INGOs).”

“There is a lot of work to do. There are lots of gaps as well. We have defined our work. We know the needs, we know the gaps and we know where to get support to fill the gaps,” said Tribunalo.

He added that the Province’s role in this project is providing technical support and capacity building to the local government units.

For areas not included in PhilDHRRA’s target, the Province will take care of assisting in the establishment of their DRRM plans, revealed Tribunalo. INGOs are also still helping out in the North, he added.

“UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund) will cover remaining barangays in Daanbantayn. Ismalic Relief will cover Sta. Fe, Bantayan and Madridejos. Other INGOs include Swiss Aid, Caretas, Oxfam International, A2D (Alternatives to Development, Inc.), and Philippine Red Cross. Cebu Normal University and Cebu Technological University will also help in the creation of DRRM plans in schools,” said Tribunalo.

Local chief executives of Tabogon committed to participate in the said project.

Salvador Malto, Tabogon’s DRRM focal person, expressed his hopes of smooth implementation of project and that this would be replicated to other barangays as well.