CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Oct. 4 – The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) reaffirmed its commitment to enhancing the disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM) capacities of the local government units (LGUs) during the Department of Science and Technology’s (DOST’s) HANDA Pilipinas: Innovations in Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Exposition 2023, the first DRRM technology exposition for Mindanao leg.

At the forefront of resiliency

DILG Region 10 Assistant Director Yvette Tolentino-Sunga, delivered the message of Secretary of the Interior and Local Government (SILG) Benjamin Abalos Jr., who underscored the importance of responding to the call of coming together in synergy to combat the increase of climate-related challenges.

“We, in the DILG, are one with DOST in this remarkable initiative of showcasing the latest technology and tools for disaster preparedness and response, which the LGUs can use in their respective localities.”

With Mindanao who has always been susceptible to disasters and hazardsARD Sunga emphasized that it is imperative that the LGUs are equipped with the most innovative tools and knowledge to protect the lives and livelihoods of each and every citizen.

Moreover, the DILG mentioned that being the National DRRM Council’s (NDRRMC’s) vice-chair for disaster preparedness, the Department has relentlessly been partaking in the cause through its own initiatives and programs, such as but not limited to, Operation LISTO advocacy program, Emergency Operation Centers during disasters, and Seal of Good Local Governance (SGLG), among others.

From victims to victors

“From Victims of disasters to Victors” is how the DOST envisions to rebrand Filipino resilience, according to DOST Secretary Renato Solidum Jr., in his message. Despite that the country remains one of the most vulnerable nations to the adverse impacts of climate-related challenges, Secretary Solidum highlighted that everyone must see it as an opportunity to change the narrative to progress.

“Disasters happen when we, as a government, as a community, and as individuals, fail to anticipate, prevent, mitigate, and prepare for these natural hazards. Disasters occur when we fail to make use of available and reliable scientific information to guide our planning, decision-making, and action,” he added.

Through harnessing the power of science, technology, and innovation, Secretary Solidum said that Filipinos can foster a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship, with research and development as the cornerstone, which led to the creation of HANDA Pilipinas.  

Echoing efforts toward sustainable dev’t

The HANDA Pilipinas 2023 expo, which brought together government officials, experts, and practitioners in the field of disaster risk reduction and management, successfully featured a wide array of exhibits, forums, tech pitching sessions, training modules, and workshops on various critical topics.

Through the collaborative efforts of the DOST, DILG, and Office of Civil Defense (OCD), the sessions created a productive environment where knowledge exchange and networking opportunities thrived, encouraging the reinforcement of national and local initiatives towarda more resilient community.

With a revitalized sense of purpose among LGUs and a clearer mission to bolster resilience and sustainability, DILG, together with partner agencies and stakeholders, continues to resolutely stand behind its shared goal of sustainable development and create improved policies and innovations for the benefit of all Filipinos – leaving no one behind. (PDMU / P. Felicilda)