TACLOBAN CITY -The provincial government of Samar received its first Gawad Kalasag seal for the local disaster risk reduction management councils and offices category in the recently concluded 23rd Gawad Kalasag seal and special awards for excellence in disaster risk reduction and management and humanitarian assistance.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) has recognized Samar, through its Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (PDRRM) Office, as fully compliant.

Thus, it has passed the various stages of assessment from the regional selection, national desk evaluation, national field validation to the final deliberation, the Samar provincial information office said.

Gawad Kalasag (Kalamidad at Sakuna Labanan, Sariling Galing ang Kaligtasan) is an annual recognition given by the Office of Civil Defense for various stakeholders like LGUs who promote and implement disaster risk reduction management, climate change adaptation, and humanitarian assistance programs ‘to protect high-risk communities against extreme hazards, and capacitate them to address their vulnerabilities.”

“We are beyond grateful for this recognition. We have long acknowledged the role of disaster preparedness in community building. While our geographical location makes us susceptible to the hazards of natural disasters, we took it upon ourselves on how we can prevent disasters,” Governor Sharee Ann Tan said in a statement.

“The local government has intensified its disaster preparedness efforts and we ask the public to do the same,” the governor added.

Manuel Van Torrevillas, provincial disaster risk reduction management officer expressed his gratitude to the governor for her total support.

“I am hoping that we will be able to sustain this prestigious recognition and be soon awarded as beyond compliant LGU. I also hope that more local government units in Samar will be awardees of the Gawad Kalasag seal, and that more LGUs and DRRM practitioners will accept the Gawad Kalasag Challenge,” Torrevillas said.

Aside from the province of Samar, the municipalities of Tarangnan and Marabut were likewise recognized as fully compliant and were awarded with the Gawad Kalasag seal.
As a Gawad Kalasag awardee, LGUs are prioritized for NDRRM fund assistance for DRRM projects in their respective localities, subject to existing policies and procedures.