DAGUPAN CITY – Barangay Malued of this city vowed to intensify its disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM) programs in their barangay.

This, after Malued was recently adjudged as 1st runner up and national finalist up in the Search for Excellence in Disaster Risk Reduction and Management and Humanitarian Assistance under the Urban barangay category.

The award was in recognition of the barangay’s implementation of an aggressive and 4-thematic DRRM program that is also adaptive to the community’s flood susceptibility. This, despite being located in a catch basin area from its adjacent and higher-elevated neighboring barangays.

The effective use of available rescue and evacuation resources which resulted in minimal attendant disruption; high reception of technical inputs from validators; and the close working relationship with the leadership of the city were also factors in the award.

All these were all “notable contributions to the national effort to build a safe, climate change adaptive and disaster resilient Philippines worthy of emulation by our people and recognition from GAWAD KALASAG.”

Barangay Captain Filipina Delos Santos and the rest of her council received the award and P200,000 cash prize from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) during the 20th GAWAD KALASAG National Awards held at the AFP Theater in Quezon City last December 4.

This is the first time that the barangay qualified for the national level search after having been a regional awardee.

“The barangay council is elated to receive this award. We never expected this to happen especially because this is our first time to join the competition,” said Delos Santos.

She also added that the aside from the barangay’s preemptive measures and information dissemination, the citywide conduct of Privately Hosted Evacuation Centers (PHEC) were also commended by the national validators.

Meanwhile, Mayor Belen T. Fernandez hailed the barangay’s Unliserbisyo efforts under the leadership of Chairman Delos Santos during the presentation of the awards during  the flag-raising ceremony at the city plaza on December 10.

Fernandez also bared the city’s plans for the barangay, which include the upgrading of three more roads. (Verdelle De Vera/CIO)