Tuesday, June 02, 2015

STEPS TO BUILD DISASTER-RESILIENT COMMUNITIES: Yolanda-hit SHFC communities in Roxas City undergo DRR training

Yolanda-hit SHFC communities in Roxas City undergo DRR training

PARTICIPATORY DISASTER PREPAREDNESS TRAINING. Some 30 community association leaders in Roxas City, Capiz participated in a workshop on Disaster Risk Reduction and Preparedness, the Social Housing Finance Corporation (SHFC) and the UN Habitat Philippines organized.

True to its commitment in building disaster-resilient communities, the Social Housing Finance Corporation (SHFC) conducted a comprehensive, three-day workshop on Disaster Risk Reduction and Preparedness Training for the beneficiaries of the Community Mortgage Program (CMP) in Roxas City, Capiz. 

The SHFC has partnered with the UN Habitat Philippines and the Provincial Disaster and Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) of Capiz to train 30 community association (CA) leaders in Roxas City on how a community can adopt and mitigate the changing weather conditions brought about by climate change. 

SHFC’s Vice President for Legal and Loan Processing Group-VisMin, Atty. Rosalie Taguian said that the workshop is beneficial for the participants given that the effects of climate change can now be felt. Roxas City is identified as one of the vulnerable areas in terms of hazards. The geographical profile of Capiz is 89 percent water, making it vulnerable to flooding and storm surge as shown during the wrath of super typhoon Yolanda in November 2013, where at least seven residents were killed and thousands of properties, damaged.

“Once you teach them how to adopt and understand the importance of mitigating hazards in their community, the community in effect will be strengthened. It is really about leaving behind a disaster-resilient community,” Taguian stressed.

Participants of the DRR workshop executing the proper defensive position that must be followed when an earthquake strikes while one is indoor.
During the first day of the workshop, the participants were given the essential details on climate change, as well as earthquake, health, and flood hazard and preparedness. Speakers from PAGASA talked about the different weather signals that are encountered by the participants in their daily activities. Emergency communication and early warning systems were also taught. The output of the first day was the community’s short term and long term plans to adopt and mitigate climate change. 

The second day was the workshop on hazard mapping wherein the participants were asked to identify the different hazards in their community and plot it on a map. SHFC President Ma. Ana Oliveros discussed the importance of site development as a mitigation measure in disasters in her lecture, Oliveros noted that SHFC has been adopting climate change measures through its community-driven and in-city, near-city relocation. Aside from this, SHFC has been active in pushing for empowered and disaster-resilient communities through partnerships and capacity building.

The workshop was filled with practical and participatory exercises in last day. Upon learning about Evacuation Planning and Creating a Disaster Management Team, the participants were asked to simulate how a Disaster Management Team works. The participants were able to draft a Community Disaster Action Plan that they can adopt in their own communities at the end of the workshop.

Part of the Community Disaster Plan includes holding of more DRR training into their respective communities to capacitate other members. 

Having been victims of the super typhoon Yolanda, the participants said that the 3-day workshop was really beneficial for their communities especially now that the effects of climate change are being felt.

Meanwhile, Capiz Provincial Administrator,Atty. Jose Villanueva lauds the efforts of SHFC and its partners in organizing a DRR training for the Capiznons. Villanueva said that disaster-preparedness is one of the top priorities of the provincial government of Capiz.

Aside from this workshop in Capiz, the SHFC will soon launch another batch of DRR training in other communities in Capiz, Tacloban City, and in Coron, Palawan.

SHFC is the lead agency providing flexible, affordable, innovative and responsive shelter financing solutions to underprivileged communities. For more info, call (+632) 750-6346 loc. 821 or visit our website www.shfcph.com. /MP

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