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THREATENED NO MORE: A story of a community’s resiliency against disaster

THREATENED NO MORE: A story of a community’s resiliency against disaster

With the effects of climate change intensifying day by day, the challenge Filipino families’ face nowadays is how to be resilient amidst uncertain times. There is no way anyone could predict what heavy rains and strong tropical storms may bring; when landslides and flooding would hit ones neighborhood. The best way to face threats brought about by these phenomenon are by being informed with the necessary facts on Disaster Risk Reduction Management.

Since no one has control over the elements of nature, individuals and communities are better off preparing for the worst case scenarios. Communities must capitalize on whatever is available and workable; what is doable, that even simple folks in the community may be able to do to lower the effects of calamity.

Experience Dictates Need

Sarah Bihag, a resident of Brgy. Rupagan, Bacolod, Lanao del Norte, still remembers how Typhoon Sendong damaged homes and destroyed livelihood in their barangay. The small creek right around their homes was flooded in just a few hours of rain, leveling anything that is on its path.

“It is just a small creek but since Typhoon Sendong happened, it easily overflows. Storms right now are very different; very strong. Because of that, we have sleepless nights when there is bad weather because we fear that flooding will again hit our houses, even putting our families in danger,” Sarah shares.

Since Sendong happened, low pressure rainstorms and usual thunder storms would bring flooding in their barangay, even affecting neighboring communities. Residents now wanted to do something about it, but there was not enough convincing that would encourage everyone to do something about it.

Kalahi-CIDDS in Bacolod

Bacolod has been one of the municipalities in Northern Mindanao qualified for the Community-Driven Development Program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development, the Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirpan – Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS). Communities have previously availed of 5 cycles of the Kalahi-CIDSS Program (3 Cycles under the Kalahi-CIDSS and 2 Cycles under the Makamasang Tugon), blessing them with various sub-projects that has proven to be effective in answering to pressing issues of poverty in their communities.

Barangay Councilor Yvonne C. Lacia recalls how two (2) sub-projects were successfully implemented in their barangays because of Kalahi-CIDSS. Barangay Rupagan was prioritized during the 3rd Cycle for KC:KKB implementing a Road Gravelling sub-project for their barangay access road and a Barangay Health Station for their KC:Makamasang Tugon 1st Cycle; 2 sub-projects that have since been favorable to the community.

Councilor Yvonne recalls her ordeals and lessons as part of the Kalahi-CIDSS Project. She even credits her being the Barangay Sub-Project Management Committee (BSPMC) Chairperson as one of the reasons people trusted in her capacity to lead, ensuring her of a spot in the Barangay Council.

Another Cycle for a Good Performer

Life went on for the people of Bacolod post Kalahi-CIDSS and residents in the different communities in Bacolod were more than thankful for the sub-projects they received in the 5 cycles of Kalahi-CIDSS in their municipality.

But there was something brewing. During the second half of 2013, Bacolod was identified to pilot the Disaster Risk Reduction Management Modality for Kalahi-CIDSS. With high regard from the DSWD for being a good performer in their previous cycles, Bacolod was highly endorsed for the said pilot implementation.

With the thrusts of the Department in promoting resilience against the tests of climate change, Kalahi-CIDSS promotes Disaster Risk Reduction Management (DRRM) through Community-Driven Development. Communities are oriented about DRRM and apply it in proposing and implementing community sub-projects. Through this, communities living in disaster-prone areas will be able to be prepared for the trials of nature.

The communities in Bacolod are already well versed with the Kalahi-CIDSS implementation, so the pilot implementation was smooth-sailing. Communities were able to finish their sub-projects in the allotted time. Now, communities are ready to face the uncertain. They are already capable of facing calamities with little reluctance.

“Three strong downpours have already happened since we have completed the canal. Water directly went straight to the sea, and we no longer had flooding in our house. Now we can sleep peacefully at night even if there is a storm, thanks to Kalahi-CIDSS,” Sarah shared.

“I am just proud that we CAN make a difference in our community by just sharing our time to community works,” she added.

The Disaster Risk Reduction Management Modality of Kalahi-CIDSS has aided communities in Bacolod prepare for the worst trials nature may bring. With so many lives and properties lost during unpredictable weather disturbances the country is facing nowadays, it is comforting to be prepared of the worst that could happen.

Written by Marko Davey D. Reyes, DSWD

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