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By: Aaron Aspi, Emergency Communications Specialist
Cagayan de Oro City, February 19 --- Two months after Typhoon Washi has left widespread devastation in Southern Philippines, World Vision joins more than 400 Mindanao leaders, civic groups, academe and other non-government organizations in the first Mindanao Summit on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and Geo-hazard Awareness. The 2-day summit proactively aims to gather all key decision-makers and stakeholders in Mindanao on a serious move to unite efforts to mitigate disasters and learn about the worsening effects of climate change in Southern Philippines.
World Vision advocacy team took part in the summit to promote Child-Focused Disaster Risk Reduction (CF-DRR) awareness which seeks to mobilize the communities to act as first responders during disasters. Chris Estallo, World Vision Philippines Advocacy Manager shares, “Children’s voices and promotion of their well-being should always be in the heart of the Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation (DRR-CCA) discourse. We should uphold their rights to participation, health and protection especially during emergency situations."
DRRNet Malu Fellizar-Cagay facilitates the DRR workshop
CF-DRR ensures that community-based child protection measures are in place to empower children and families to be resilient and responsive during emergency situations. "There have been many success stories in championing children’s participation in disaster preparedness among WV-assisted areas and LGU’s but there are still challenges in integrating child-focused initiatives in planning and policy-making initiatives for effective DRR-CCA programs," Estallo added.
In forming the Mindanao Declaration on DRR Priorities, one of the key goals of the summit, World Vision has successfully advocated for the inclusion of the Children’s Charter on DRR as among the guiding international agreements cited in the resolution. The Children’s Charter identifies children's priorities for Disaster Risk Reduction based on feedback from more than 600 children in 21 countries including the Philippines. This Charter was launched during the May 2011 Global Platform for DRR in Geneva, Switzerland. Children's Charter has identified 5 actions plans: education, child protection, child participation and access to information, safe infrastructures and reconstruction; and disaster risk reduction to help the most vulnerable, including children during emergencies.
Hon. Teofisto TG Guingona III, one of the lead convenors of the Mindanao DRR summit has supported World Vision’s CF-DRR advocacy and has been instrumental in the passage of RA 10121 or the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction Management Act of 2010. He also joined World Vision-sponsored child and CF-DRR youth advocate Arnel Alipao in the United Nations General Assembly thematic debate on DRR last March 2011.
“The passage of the DRR law was the first milestone in our campaign to promote Disaster Risk Reduction in the communities thru the local government. This Mindanao DRR summit is another step towards creating a disaster-free Mindanao. This event proves that we can set aside anything and be united as one people, as one Mindanao," shares Sen. Guingona.
World Vision Washi relief response concluded last week after week-long rains slowed down distribution in the hinterland areas of Rogongon, Mandulog and Digkilaan in Iligan City. World Vision staff on its last wave of response provided relief assistance to over 5,000 families in Iligan whose livelihood was ravaged by landslides in these hard to reach areas. All in all World Vision was able to provide relief assistance to over 16,000 families in the cities of Cagayan de Oro (CDO) and Iligan in Northern Mindanao.
Over 10,000 children in CDO and Iligan also received psychosocial intervention thru Child Friendly Spaces (CFS) which served as a back-to- school campaign to encourage children to continue their studies after the devastation. CFS is a key intervention integrated in the Child-Focused Disaster Risk Reduction (CF-DRR) program of World Vision.
The first Mindanao DRR summit was convened by Senator Teofisto Guingona III , Senator Koko Pimentel III, AusAID, Philippine Center for Islam and Democracy, Mindanao Development Authority, University of the Philippines and Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan. Others who or supported the event were climate change advocate Senator Loren Legarda and Senator Gringo Honasan of the Senate committee on land-use who both led multisectoral discussions on DRR and climate change and other related developmental issues together with agencies and institutions like the Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro, NDRRMC, PHILVOCS, PAGASA, Climate Change Commission, DSWD, NEDA and NIGS-UP, Ateneo Manila Observatory, Aksyon Klima and DRRNet.
For a copy of the Mindanao Declaration on DRR Priorities please check:
For a copy of the Children's Charter on DRR please check:
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