DRRM TRAINING FOR KIDS. Selected elementary pupils from the municipality of Tubungan join one-day training on disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM) held in Tubungan Central Elementary School on Friday (July 5, 2019). In the photo, Melissa Banias, OCD-6 Capability Building Section chief, said they hoped children would be more aware of the hazards in their surrounding and of their role in their community in times of disaster. (Photo courtesy of Melissa Banias)
ILOILO CITY – The Office of Civil Defense (OCD) hoped to inculcate early in children their role in disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM) as it gathered 48 pupils of public elementary schools in the town of Tubungan, Iloilo for a DRRM training on Friday, July 5.
In a follow-up interview on Monday, Melissa Banias, chief of OCD-6 (Western Visayas) Capability Building Section, said the municipality was chosen due to the series of landslides that were monitored in the area.
Tubungan is a mountainous town in the southern part of Iloilo province.
Early this year, OCD-6 Regional Director Jose Roberto Nuñez personally conducted an assessment in Barangay Igtuble and he saw that there were a lot of children in the area, Banias said.
“He felt the need to conduct DRRM training for children to be aware of their surroundings because Tubungan is very susceptible and vulnerable to landslide. Out of the many municipalities in Western Visayas, they were personally chosen by the regional director,” she added.
The training was attended by Grades 4 and 5 pupils. Three participants from each school were chosen to join the one-day training for the child sector.
The training covered three modules with representatives from government science agencies serving as main speakers.
The first module talked about DRRM, basic hazards, risk exposure and vulnerability, among others.
“It was not a technical training because the topics were designed to suit their age,” Banias said.
The next module was on various hazards in Tubungan. A representative from the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration tackled hydro-meteorological hazards; while another from the Mines and Geosciences Bureau talked about rain-induced landslide, flooding and sinkholes; from the Bureau of Fire Protection, fire hazard; and from the Department of Interior and Local Government, climate change.
The last module was on the role of children in DRRM, what to do before, during and after disasters.
“DRR is for everybody and everyone has a role to play. Hopefully, we would be able to increase their awareness about hazards in their surrounding and increase their community-level support,” Banias said.
The conduct of DRRM training is part of the regular program of the OCD. However, the design of the training for children was suited for 14 sectors that were identified by the National Anti-Poverty Commission.
“We rolled out this training last year and we resume this year,” Banias said.
OCD, she added, has been going to various provinces of the region to be able to reach out down to the grassroots level.
“We from OCD and RDRRMC (Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council) members will be the one to go down to the local level to conduct the training for us to feel the real needs of communities,” Banias said. (PNA)