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PIA Press Release

South Cotabato grabs top regional Gawad Kalasag award

General Santos City (7 September) -- South Cotabato's Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council (PDCC) was recently honored the Gawad Kalasag award being named as outstanding PDCC in Region XII.

The Gawad Kalasag Awards aim to recognize valuable contributions of individuals, groups and institutions who put their lives on the line to save life, to honor Filipinos' courage, self-sacrifice and heroism.

Governor Daisy Avance-Fuentes received the award from Regional Disaster Coordinating Council (RDCC) chair Chief Superintendent Felizardo Serapio Jr., police regional director, in a simple ceremony culminating the Search for Excellence in Disaster Management and Humanitarian Response at Phela Grande Hotel, this city.

Maitum Mayor Elsie Perrett (2nd, left) of Sarangani province receives the "Best Prepared Municipal Disaster Coordinating Council-Category B" in Region 12 from P/CSupt. Felizardo Serapio Jr. (3rd, left). (Photo: Sarangani Information Office/WYT)

In a press statement emailed to PIA, Senior Superintendent Casimero Medes, officer-in-charge of the Regional Police Public Information Office XII, said: "South Cotabato's entry for best Disaster Coordinating Council won overwhelmingly. After a rigid evaluation, the Regional Selection Committee declared South Cotabato the top winner."

Gawad Kalasag promotes the Filipino inherent spirit of bayanihan, volunteerism and spontaneous cooperation in times of major problems like responding to disasters and emergencies.

Medes said PDCC South Cotabato excelled in emergency rescue operations, especially in flood prone areas during typhoons.

It was also recognized for its preparedness and resiliency during man-made calamities such as the recent bombing incidents that had put the province in the negative light.

In response to all these calamities, PDCC-South Cotabato Emergency Team has responded to several search, rescue and retrieval operations with the cooperation of other LGUs in the province, Medes added.

Aside from that, it also surpassed other contenders in terms of readiness in logistics, equipment and manpower.

Meanwhile the provincial government of Sarangani was also named as the Best Prepared Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council, 2nd place, regional level.

KALASAG, stands for Kalamidad at Sakuna Labanan, Sariling Galing ang Kaligtasan, which was pioneered by the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC), Department of National Defense in 2002.

The annual search takes pride in the outstanding performances of local disaster councils and other emergency response team who are key players in the implementation of disaster management activities of the region.

Other Gawad Kalasag awardees were CDCC Tacurong for Best Prepared CDCC; MDCC Polomolok, South Cotabato for Best Prepared MDCC (Category A); MDCC Maitum, Sarangani for Best Prepared MDCC (Category B) and BDCC Pulabato, Tampakan, South Cotabato for Rural Category Best Prepared BDCC.

The 5053rd Search and Rescue Group, Philippine Air Force was also cited as the best group in emergency response.

The winners were chosen according to their performances shown on the areas of Mitigation, Preparedness, Response and Relief. They will automatically represent the region in the competitions at the national level.

Lita Enok, regional director of the Office of the Civil Defense and Executive Officer of RDCC and Buagas Sulaik, regional director of the Dept. of Interior and Local Government assisted the awarding of plaques and citations which were respectively received by the local chief executives and heads of offices. (CTA/PIA SarGen) [top]

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