By Teng Lauban Datu
Cotabato City Bureau Chief .
Cotabato City — Various local government units from across the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao received recognition for their outstanding contributions to disaster risk reduction and management during the 21st Gawad Kalasag regional awarding ceremony conducted by the region’s Office of the Civil Defense (OCD-Barmm) last Friday.
Raynildo Aniñon, regional director of OCD-Barmm, said that the Gawad Kalasag was established to give recognition or honor to various stakeholders who design and implement the disaster risk reduction and management programs aimed at protecting and shielding various communities against disasters.
“The concept of Gawad Kalasag was adopted from the Filipino term ‘to shield’ which was used by early Filipinos as a means of protection from attacks of enemies or harmful animals,” Aniñon explained.
Gawad Kalasag, or the Kalamidad at Sakuna Labanan, Sariling Galing ang Kaligtasan, is the country’s premier annual awards for outstanding contributions in the fields of disaster risk reduction and management and humanitarian assistance.
Plaques and certificates of recognition were awarded to the following local governments:
Best City DRRMC – Lamitan City, Basilan
Best Municipal DRRMC 1st-3rd class municipality – Upi, Maguindanao (finalist), Wao, Lanao del Sur (winner)
Best Municipal DRRMC 4th-6th class municipality – Paglat and South Upi, Maguindanao (finalists), Datu Abdullah Sangki, Maguindanao (winner)
OCD-Barmm has also recognized Barangay Limo-ok in Lamitan City, Basilan as Best Barangay DRRM committee; Barangay Busbus in Jolo, Sulu as Best Volunteer Organization; Jolo Emergency Rescue Network as Best Government Emergency Management; and awarded the Heroic Act Award to Emergency Response Network – Lanao del Sur.
The awarding of the Gawad Kalasag also marked the culmination of the National Disaster Resilience Month. (with reports from bpi-barmm)