ELEVEN local government units (LGUs), 27,400 volunteers. These are the numbers of the 60-day Bayani Challenge 2014.

Despite the end of the activity organized by Gawad Kalinga (GK), mayors vowed to continue the “bayanihan spirit” by helping other towns and cities affected by natural disasters.

Northern Cebu mayors signed a covenant last Thursday at the Bogo City Sports Complex.

Among the mayors who signed the covenant were Bogo City Mayor Celestino Martinez Jr., Madridejos Mayor Salvador Dela Fuente, San Remigio Mayor Mariano Martinez, Daanbantayan Mayor Augusto Corro and Borbon Mayor Bernard Sepulveda.


Naval Forces Central Commander Reynaldo Yoma and Central Command Commander John Bonafos also inked their respective commitment.

There are 11 LGUs in Cebu that joined the Bayani Challenge, these are: Tabuelan, Sogod, Borbon, Daanbantayan, Medellin, San Remigio, Tabogon, Sta. Fe, Bantayan, Madridejos and Bogo City.

GK Executive Director Jose Luis Oquiñena said they gathered 27,400 volunteers for Cebu to help in clean-up drives, medical missions, school and house repairs, mangrove planting and children's workshop called "Paraisong Pambata."

Oquiñena said there were one million volunteers in 12 provinces nationwide.

Among the provinces that joined the Bayani Challenge were Aklan, Antique, Bohol, Capiz, Cebu, Eastern Samar, Iloilo, Leyte, Palawan, Negros Oriental, Samar and Zamboanga.

"We are breaking the mind sets from 'walang pakialam (not caring)' to 'walang iwanan (no goodbyes).' That is what the Bayani Challenge is," Oquiñena said.


Toby Florendo, GK Cebu head, handed out the certificates of appreciation to the town mayors who joined the Bayani Challenge.

In his speech, Bogo Mayor Martinez recalled that when he first assumed as chief executive on the city, the barangays contributed in building their municipal hall.

"We have been successful in improving our City of Bogo," Martinez said.

In the same event, the Alliance for Emergency Reduction and Response on Threats (ALERRT) was signed by Bogo City, San Remigio, Daanbantayan and Sta. Fe.

Bogo Disaster Risk Reduction and Management officer Ben Frederick Rodriguez said through ALERRT, the four LGUs may share the good practices and their technical abilities when needed in the face of disaster.

The four LGUs are committed to establish disaster risk reduction and resiliency plans and policies, recovery preparedness plan, inter-LGU comprehensive hazards and vulnerability identification and mapping, disaster data dissemination system, and capacity building for disaster risk reduction, response and recovery.