EIGHTY volunteers from 11 barangays in Villanueva town, Misamis Oriental were recently trained to be disaster “warriors” in their respective community.
Participants were taught on the basic knowledge and skills on how to be alert and responsive to any disaster that may strike their community at any given time. The training, conducted by experts from the Philippine National Red Cross-Misamis Oriental (PNRC-MisOr), held on March 7-9 and March 14-16, 2018, was thru the auspices of FDC
Misamis Power Corporation (FDC Misamis).
Last year, the Gotianun-led power firm likewise sponsored the same training, where 80 villagers-turned-volunteers also attended, including the town’s police officers. Villanueva, known as the “Industrial Hub” in Northern Mindanao, is reportedly prone to both natural and man-made disaster(s) like earthquake, typhoon, flood, tsunami, landslide, fire, among others.
“Thus, it is our prime objective in sponsoring this training to equip the people of Villanueva the knowledge and skills needed to become disaster warriors,” said Engr. Luis Lagarnia Jr., FDC Misamis’ plant manager.
“Implementing this program will also make the residents in our host community aware of our commitment to harmonize our operations with environmentally sound practices and programs for the community,” he said.
The training, Villanueva Mayor Jennie Rosalie Uy said, benefited every barangay in strengthening their respective Barangay Disaster Action Team (BDAT).
Under Republic Act 10121 and with the onslaught of climate change all over the world, all local government units, including the barangays, are mandated to have their respective disaster risk reduction and management team.
Norman Ricacho, officer-in-charge of the town’s Disasters Risk Reduction and Management Office, said “it is a must for people in the community to be more self-sufficient and be able to respond quickly and correctly to any form of disaster. “
“Villanueva is blessed and glad that FDC Misamis is fully supporting the local administration when it comes to community-based disaster preparedness and response, whereby communities are equipped with learnings on how to effectively respond when natural and man-made calamities occur,” he added.
INITIATIVES NOT ENOUGH
For volunteer-participant Cyril Cambalon, Jr., initiatives in responding to any incident especially during calamity aren’t enough.
He said being a human resource trainer and a member of the town’s DRRMO, he is used to volunteer in rescue operations during typhoons and even road mishaps.
Assisting children evacuees during a typhoon is the most touching role he ever played in his whole life, confessed the 38-year-old resident of Poblacion 2, Villanueva.
“Thanks to Red Cross and FDC Misamis for this training that imparted us knowledge and trained us on how to properly assist evacuees and manage evacuation centers, among others,” Cambalon said.
“What I’ve learned from this training is truly valuable to me, to my family, and my community.”
“Training more disaster warriors in Villanueva is a noteworthy endeavor leading to the fulfillment of our mission to make this town one of the disaster-resilient communities in Mindanao,” Lagarnia said.
Ricacho said, “Properly trained disaster volunteers can surely make a difference between life and death.”
FDC Misamis will continue to work with the LGU of Villanuva in ensuring the sustainability of the latter’s disaster risk program and make it attuned with FDC Misamis’ Disaster and Crisis Measures, Procedures and Plans.
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