The last, most vital and crucial part of our internship at the National Anti-Poverty Commission was to conduct an orientation and analysis report regarding the disaster risk reduction management of Barangay 12. Basically, all the hours we’ve spent at NAPC and at different barangays prepared us for the said presentation. We had an exposure trip at Barangay Banaba in San Mateo Rizal, visited Barangay 14 in Caloocan City and interviewed officials, both from the barangay and a CSO called ICallForGoodGov, at Barangay 12 in Caloocan City.
Visiting Barangay 12, a barangay that is very prone to floods given its location, was nothing short of surprising. We found out that they had no disaster risk reduction plans whatsoever. They were so used to flooding that they already perceive it as a part of their lives. Their answers (or lack thereof) to our questions only made us realize how much they need to start preparing for disasters before it’s too late. Thus we presented to barangay officials last February 12, during their scheduled barangay council meeting. We got to share our findings, insights and recommendations to the community, and they enthusiastically shared their own sentiments regarding the topic.
The next week, CSO officials met with us to update us about what has happened after our presentation. They gladly said that we’ve alarmed them of how essential disaster preparedness is to their community. The barangay officials even had a meeting right after our report. Now, these officials are starting to take action on disaster risk reduction management.
Hearing this, I was nothing short of glad that we’ve contributed to the barangay. And knowing that what we’ve done might actually save lives in the future makes me blessed to have partnered with NAPC. I just hope that the whole community will continue to push for a more disaster-ready Barangay 12. And maybe one day, they will also inspire other barangays to do the same – push for good disaster risk reduction management and climate change adaptation that will prevent them from any fatalities brought about by disasters.