The First Time

I had blogged, during the first of the semester, about the lax times in my group’s weekly meetings. After such times, we had deliberated on what to do for our project. We then decided on doing something akin to fieldwork. Having done our initial preparations and the like, I looked forward to finally doing our so called fieldwork.

This activity involved an audit that we were supposed to do in Barangay 12 in Caloocan city. We have to go around, interview point persons, as well as some of the members of the common people in the society, on questions regarding their system of management in disaster risk reduction within their community, and then we were to give recommendations based on what we saw during an earlier trip to Barangay Banaba, with the community having a good system of DRRM.

We were quite surprised—I’m not really sure if we were all surprised, since I have no idea on what my fellow group mates were thinking at the time, but I definitely was—to learn that there have been nothing of the sort in that cramped barangay. Sure, there had been efforts in the past on disaster preparation and mitigation, but they have been minutely felt and expressed throughout the times disasters struck.

I’m sure that given the situation, it was quite understandable. When knowing of the facts that the previous barangay captain had done nothing that was effective enough to consider, had not tended to the system, and had left it just as it were. After such a long time having had the position, he left it to a group of people who were just starting out under new management that was only a little over two months old, with them deciding to have a different priority other than fixing their system on DRRM, it is quite understandable.

But having interviewed a barangay official, and having their thoughts on the matter, as well as those from the organizations of the civil society, they all claim that it is a problem with having the lack of funds, people, and permissions from officials that have to provide them. I have thought that they have a problem that needed prioritizing entirely different from that.

I have voiced out my opinion, during the “review” on my group’s recommendations. Instead of problematizing who is responsible to give the lacking, it is better to assign someone reliable for a while to a separate department dealing solely on DRRM in their community and worry about the official things later, seeing as their officials have other priorities.

I feel that it was naïve for me to say it, for I’m sure there are other problems they might cross. But I hope I got my point straight. They had to start with something, and bickering about politics was not going to get them anywhere, even if it was the first time they have ever tried, if they did, something like that.

– Audrey Agustin

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