SOME 81 entries from Central Luzon are vying for this year’s 21st Gawad Kalasag (GK) Search for Excellence in Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) and Humanitarian Assistance.
The Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC) 3, through the Office of Civil Defense (OCD3) in Central Luzon, annually recognizes the outstanding performance of the government, private sectors, non-government organizations, individuals and stakeholders who have shown acts of heroism before, during or after disasters or emergencies and continue to render exemplary contribution in promoting and implementing significant and gender-sensitive disaster, climate change adaptation programs and innovations that would build community resiliency in the long term.
For this year, 15 local DRRM councils, three Government Emergency Management (GEM) and Response Teams, one specialty hospital, two local government unit (LGU)-managed hospitals, three national hospitals, one civil society organization, 14 public secondary schools, 38 public elementary schools, one child development center, one higher educational institution and two individuals/groups providing humanitarian assistance have submitted their entries.
The Regional Selection Committee (RSC) has already conducted the desk evaluation. Out of the total entries, only 35 of them qualified for the field validation where the RSC will conduct site visitations to guarantee the veracity of their documents.
According to Richard Santos, OIC chief of the plans and program section of the OCD Central Luzon and Regional GK focal person, field validation started last May 6 and will end on May 10.
He added that once the validation is done, a deliberation will be conducted to finalize the winners in the regional level who in turn will be submitted and endorsed at the national level.
National and regional winners for all categories shall receive plaques of recognition. Cash awards shall be given to the winners of selected categories at the national level and none for the regional level.
Marlou L Salazar, chairperson of the RDRRMC3 and regional director of OCD3, hopes that Gawad Kalasag will encourage more LGUs, groups, and individuals to excel and remain persistent in building a safe, climate change adaptive and resilient Central Luzon.
Records show that there is an increase in the number of entries this year compared to last year’s 56.
In 2018, the Pampanga PDRRMC and Mariveles Mental Hospital in Bataan were adjudged as the top winners in the national level while Angeles CDRRMC, City of San Fernando DRRMC, Baler MDRRMC and James L. Gordon Memorial Hospital were finalists.