Once again, the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (MDRRMC) of Villaverde, Nueva Vizcaya, represented by its Chairperson and Municipal Mayor, Atty. Ronelie dP. Ubando-Valtoribio, was declared as the best Council in the whole of Region 02 under the 4th to 6th class municipality category by the Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) Region 02 which conferred the honors during the 19th Gawad KALASAG Regional Search Awarding Ceremony at the Hotel Carmelita, Tuguegarao City, Cagayan on July 14, 2017. This was the third time that MDRRMC Villaverde won the prestigious title having been adjudged as Top One during the 17th and 18th Gawad KALASAG searches. It is must be noted that the municipality of Villaverde was the National Winner during the 17th edition of the Search.
KALASAG – a Filipino word which means “shield” in the English language is actually an acronym for “KAlamidad at Sakuna LAbanan, SAriling Galing and Kaligtasan”. Gawad KALASAG was conceived to encourage participation of various stakeholders in crafting and implementing DRRM programs aimed at protecting or shielding high risk communities against hazards. It was initiated in 1998 as NDRRMC’s recognition scheme in its search for excellence on DRRM and humanitarian assistance. Also, it is the mechanism in obtaining sustained commitment and support by recognizing exceptional contributions of DRRM practitioners in strengthening the resilience and adaptive capacities of nations and communities to disaster risks.
Asks for comments, the MDRRMC Chairperson and Local Chief Executive, Atty. Ronelie dP. Ubando-Valtoribio said, “Consciousness, not mechanics or procedures, is the key.” This was the guiding principle when the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction & Management Council (MDRRMC) whish chairs, formulated its 2016 Plans, Programs/Projects and Activities (PPA’s). Being a multi-stakeholder plan, every member of the Council had a sense of ownership or authorship to it. Hence, its smooth implementation, monitoring and evaluation was, more or less, assured.
Thus, the municipality has proven, once again, that a foundation of inner attitude, experience and an aspiration for a new consciousness underlies all disaster risk reduction and management works undertaken – that of PREPAREDNESS, READINESS and RESILIENCE. The people of Villaverde would say that this inner attitude – more elusive, more difficult to express than strategy and procedure – is the true source of all exterior manifestation.
Moreover, when the political leadership offered itself to the electorate, it did so with a program of governance based on the fundamental tenet of stakeholdership – that only by working together as a team, with every citizen pitching in his or her share, the people can build a better and more disaster-resilient community of Villaverdians, anchored on a consultative, transparent, responsive and accountable governance.
Finally, the municipality of Villaverde had demonstrated to the whole region that the true gem of a community is its people and no one else. # Cecilio S. Navalta, Jr.