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PIA Press Release

South Cotabato barangay bags national "Best BDCC" award

by AC Agad

Koronadal City (10 September) -- After sweeping the prestigious 2007 Gawad Kalasag award in the provincial level and in the region as Best Prepared Barangay Disaster Coordinating Council (rural category), again, Barangay Pulabato garnered the most coveted award as Best BDCC (rural category) in the entire country.

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo assisted by National Defense secretary Gilberto C. Teodoro and chairman of the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) handed the plaque of recognition to Punong Barangay Allan C. Lorenzo, BDCC chairman of Pulabato and Mrs. Asuncion-Evardo, Municipal Local Government Operations Officer during the awarding rites at Rizal Hall, in Malacaņang on August 8, 2007.

Pulabato Punong Barangay Allan Lorenzo together with acting Tampakan mayor Pedro A. Cagas and MLGOO Asuncion Evardo also received a plaque of recognition as Best Prepared Barangay Disaster Coordinating Council (rural category) in the region from P/Supt Felizardo Serapio Jr. Regional director PRO 12, Executive Officer RDCC XII during the awarding ceremonies conducted at Phela Grande, General Santos City on August 30, 2007.

The "Kalasag Award" is the highest honor given annually by the National Government in recognition of local government's exemplary achievements in the field of disaster and risk management as well as the continued commitment in reducing the impact of both man-made and natural disaster in every locality.

Barangay Pulabato was the second placer in last year's evaluation search for excellence in disaster management and has since then strived to improve its performance as it aim to reach a higher level of achievement.

BDCC Pulabato was already organized in 1992. When Lorenzo became the barangay chairman in 2002, he reactivated the BDCC through the passage of Executive Order No. 7 dated December 3, 2003.

As chairman of the BDCC, he said, he had called for a quarterly meeting with Purok officials, Sitio and tribal leaders and representative from the Sagittarius Mines Inc. General assemblies and purok meetings were also conducted from time to time in an effort to brief the people the disaster preparedness program of the barangay.

Lorenzo's reign also paved the way for the operationalization of the Barangay Disaster Operation Center (BDOC) which was established right at the center of the barangay. The BDOC is well equipped with disaster paraphernalias, logistics, supplies and materials as well as foodstuffs provided by the Barangay Government and SMI in support to the disaster management and preparedness program of the barangay

The capabilities of the BDCC and the constituents in dealing with emergency situations were also enhanced through various trainings on first-aid, firefighting, earthquake drills and some refresher courses on disaster preparedness program. Since April of 2005, Pulabato has already conducted/attended 38 trainings and other related courses.

Effective communication network was established and maintained. Handheld radios were distributed to puroks and sitios where all reports pertaining to disaster are sent to BDOC and are directly reported to the Municipal Disaster Coordinating Council through Mandarin Base, operating 24 hours and manned by trained personnel of the Local Government of Tampakan.

The BDCC also allotted PhP15,000.00 for a riverbank mitigation program and allocated PhP100,000.00 for the purchase of the identified barangay relocation site as recommended by the Mines and GeoSciences Bureau (MGB), based on the result of the geo-hazard assessment/mapping in barangay Pulabato.

SMI, as a member of the BDCC, through its community relations office established in Pulabato is tasked to provide transportation to victims whenever there will be calamities in the barangay. Aside from the transportation from SMI, the ambulance vehicle of the municipal health office with a trained personnel that can provide medical services in time of emergencies is also part of the barangay disaster action plan.

Tampakan Community Development Information Officer Efren Villarina revealed to PIA 12 that the rehabilitation program of the barangay is always in order even with or without disaster or calamities. The BDCC had organized groups in the barangay to provide immediate rehabilitation services immediately after disaster.

The trained residents by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) in collaboration with SMI and LGU Tampakan on masonry, carpentry, painting and welding would assist in the restoration or rehabilitation of damaged facilities during disasters, Villarina further said.

The strong leadership of the municipal government, the barangay and the active participation of the community contributed much the barangay's effort in capturing the 2007 "Gawad Kalasag Award" as Best BDCC in the entire country, Villarina noted. (PIA 12) [top]

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