By: Bennie A. Recebido
SORSOGON CITY, Feb 11 (PIA) – United Nations World Food Program (UN WFP) Project Coordinator Michelle McGonagle for the first time will be in Sorsogon for a three-day visit starting today until Wednesday.
McGonagle will meet the officials and representatives of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC), local chief executives and the Municipal DRRM Officers of the four highly vulnerable areas of Sorsogon and its various stakeholders to determine progress of the World Food Programme (WFP) supported Disaster Preparedness and Response (DPR) project implemented in the municipalities of Juban, Irosin, Casiguran and Sta. Magdalena.
Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (PDRRMO) Chief Raden Dimaano said the stakeholder’s meeting, aside from determining the status of the DPR project implementation, will also help identify plan of actions for the remaining project timeline, address gaps and provide information to key stakeholders on DPR initiatives in the area.
“Likewise, the Municipal DRRM Officers will be given an orientation and discussion on the radio communication protocol, and will be given the opportunity to have consultation with the WFP’s project coordinator,” he added.
Following a courtesy visit to Sorsogon Governor Raul R. Lee, and meeting with the local DRRM officials, McGonagle will be moving around to the municipalities of Juban, Irosin, Casiguran and Sta. Magdalena for a site visit and interaction with the local communities.
Sorsogon is one of the many areas covered by the WFP’s DPR Program being implemented in close partnership with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Interior Local Government (DILG), Office of Civil Defense (OCD), and the provincial and local governments.
WFP, the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, rolled out the Phase II of its programme dubbed as “Technical Support to the Government of the Philippines for Disaster Preparedness and Response” (DPR Programme) in the four identified disaster-prone areas of Sorsogon. This was launched in September last year.
The DPR Programme aims to build the resilience of vulnerable communities by boosting capacity of its government, academe, and non-governmental partners.
For Sorsogon project, the WFP tapped the expertise of Bicol University (BU) in working with the target LGUs, communities, and families to come up with appropriate family disaster plans and preparedness kits. It has also tapped the Green Valley Development Inc. (GVDI) in advancing innovative DPR activities and in promoting best practices.
The Phase II of the DPR Programme includes organizing information and education campaigns for communities on the risks they face, and the training of local government units (LGUs) to use geographic information systems to enhance preparedness and response planning.
“Sorsogon is highly vulnerable to natural disasters such as typhoons, floods, landslides and volcanic eruptions, and this vulnerability is one among the major challenges the province is facing. The DPR project which strengthens capacities of the first responders is a big help to Sorsogon communities to make them better prepare for, respond to natural disasters and eventually save lives and properties,” says Gov. Raul R. Lee.
The WFP has allotted over P20-M while its partners, the United States Agency for International Development’s Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) and the Australian Aid Agency (AUSAID), have contributed over P10-M in support to this initiative. (BARecebido, PIA Sorsogon)