Aside from spearheading the 452nd Pampanga Day celebration and activities of the province, the provincial government has another reason to celebrate last December 11, 2023 as the Pampanga Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) has received another award.
The PDRRMC has been bestowed the “Beyond Compliant” rating award by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council during the 23rd Gawad Kalasag national awarding ceremony held at the Manila Hotel in Ermita, Manila. The said prestigious rating is conferred to local disaster risk and management councils that excel in the implementation of programs and projects that promote disaster-resiliency standards and other exemplary feats in disaster preparedness and response.
The ever public service-active Pampanga PDRRMO Chief and Special Assistant to the Governor Angelina Blanco has received the award on behalf of Governor Dennis “Delta” Pineda and the province of Pampanga.
Pampanga deserves the award. Since the old days, we have been made stronger by disasters as we are frequented by strong typhoons being at the heart of Central Luzon and located at the usual path of weather disturbances coming from the Pacific Ocean.
During the rainy season, there are many areas in the province which are perennially flooded. There are even low-lying areas which are inundated all-year round. With these, we got our feet used to being under water. In some barangays in Candaba town for example, flood waters mean an abundance of fish.
We have experienced earthquakes too with some strong ones causing minimal damage. Although an earthquake that shook a building in Porac town caused significant damage, we were made used to tremors.
The eruption of Mt. Pinatubo is so far (we hope that it would be the last), the most devastating one. For several years since its major eruption, we suffered ash falls, mudflows and other devastations. With the eruption, river channels and other waterways were silted and clogged, aggravating the province’s flooding problems.
Fire has been experienced too in some establishments in Pampanga. While the major concern is the lives of people and how to save some property, our firefighters are always prepared for everything.
Then came the pandemic. It can be considered a disaster as it posed health threats to kapampangans and the world. There were casualties though, but we surpassed it anyway.
With the experiences we had on disasters, we became experts in avoiding it. If it is inevitable, we learned how to mitigate its impact and cope up with its effects. Indeed, resiliency is the key in bouncing back.
The award recently given is just a manifestation of our readiness, adaptability and resilience even in not so good times. We thank the government for the recognition and we may hope that we will be an inspiration to Filipinos that no disaster is too damaging if we learn how to adapt to it and be able to bounce back. It’s not surprising that we were tagged as more than compliant to the standards.
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