Esnara: The Gawad Kalasag of La Trinidad MDRRMC

The Magangan Stan

THE Municipality of La Trinidad is finally in the Rosters of Gawad Kalasag national winners as of December 2018. But what benefits do we get in such recognition?

Gawad Kalasag is the country’s premier annual awards for outstanding contribution in the fields of 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.

Thus, this award is an expression of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management’s admiration of the people in the Municipality of La Trinidad, including their leaders and officials, for adopting the rules and regulations and understanding disaster prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response, rehabilitation and recovery, stipulated in Republic Act 10121. This means that you are aware of something regarding the law, (like knowing early warnings, and making timely preparations to prevent disasters).

For your municipal disaster risk reduction and management (MDRRM), it is an indication of correct direction to Disaster Resiliency. Remember that RA 10121 was initiated in 2010. It is only nine years old today and there is no perfect Indicator that right programs are being implemented, aside from those asked by the Gawad Kalasag checklist.

The local government unit (LGU) of La Trinidad (mother unit) is in it too. Every year, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) evaluates every municipal government in the country of its projects, programs, and activities to determine the deserving recipient of the most desired Seal of Good Local Governance or SGLG.

SGLG is a mechanism that tracks the performance of a Local Government Unit such as the Municipal Government. It is also a tool to strengthen accountability in the Local Level. In order to have one, the LGU has to comply with all the requirements in the seven (7) Core Areas; financial administration, disaster preparedness, social protection, peace and order; business-friendliness and competitiveness, environmental management, and tourism, culture and the arts.

That being said, a Seal of Good Local Governance can be secured this year with the 20th Gawad Kalasag as an advantage to explain well that La Trinidad LGU has passed the requirements with respect to Disaster Preparedness Core Area (if same rules apply).

And of course, being a Gawad Kalasag winner makes La Trinidad a benchmark spot for other Local Government Units to Visit. (More tourist, better economy) In fact, our Second Placer Kalasag Trophy last year was able to invite visitors of DRRM practitioners from Municipalities of Samar Provinces, and as far as those from Bukidnon. We are now expecting more.

But we don’t end here. We have a lot more to do for a Disaster Resilient La Trinidad. I always keep in mind that having the Gawad KALASAG here doesn’t mean that we have proven something. Because, I think, it’s the other way around. I believe that it is here to challenge us to do more.

And I agree with what our MDRRM Officer Yoshio Labi said; That the challenge is having it to stay here for at least two more years, with everyone helping and willing to be disaster resilient.

Last week, the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) announced the call for the 21st Gawad Kalasag entry. This will now evaluate the DRRM programs of 2018. And we are now in the process of compiling our entry. Wish us good luck.

Everyone in La Trinidad owns this Gawad KALASAG. Help us maintain it here by continuing to learn about our Hazards and Disasters and finding ways to prevent the latter, support the DRRM Projects, Programs and Activities of the LGU, including those of the Barangays, observe safety first wherever you go, and be Pro-active.


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