TWO schools and local disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM) councils in the Cordillera were recognized for their outstanding contribution and commitment in the field of DRRM and humanitarian assistance.
During the 19th National Gawad Kalasag awards on December 11 in Ortigas, Manila, the University of the Cordilleras was hailed as the Best Higher Education Institution in the country.
In the Public-Rural Category awards, Lepanto National High School in Mankayan, Benguet, was named the 2nd Best School, while La Trinidad, Benguet, garnered second place for the Best Municipal DRRMC (1st to 3rd class) category. Mountain Province was named as the 3rd Best Provincial DRRMC.
The awardees received plaques of recognition and cash prize worth P100,000 for the first place, P75,000 and P50,000 for the second and third place winners, respectively.
“With this award comes great responsibility in doing ordinary things extraordinarily for the benefit of many,” University of the Cordilleras vice president for administration Leonarda Aguinalde said.
Among the merits of the winners from Cordillera that stood out were the impressing bayanihan spirit during emergencies and disasters, empowerment of local capacities, advancement of DRRM through innovative research programs, use of effective climate change adaptation technology, and strengthening disaster preparedness through the use of local dialect in information campaigns.
"We need to sustain this practice in order to attain our goal of zero casualty. The goal of the awards is to promote the localization of DRR because local councils, communities, and schools are on the frontlines of disasters," said National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council Undersecretary Ricardo Jalad.
Meanwhile, four national awardees also topped the Regional Cordillera Gawad Kalasag in their respective categories. They were recognized during an awarding ceremony on December 1 in Baguio City.
Apart from recognizing efforts and commitment in DRRM, the Cordillera DRRM council also celebrated its partnerships with various stakeholders who are also very vital in strengthening DRRM.
Local government units, regional line agencies, media, schools and universities, emergency responders, and communication groups were recognized for their commitment and unending efforts in achieving safer, adaptive and disaster resilient communities.
Published in the SunStar Baguio newspaper on December 15, 2017.
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