Aboitiz Group helps build disaster-resilient communities in Mindanao

For a disaster-stricken community still reeling from the aftermath of an earthquake, a disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM) training is more than just a learning session — it means key to survival.

That is why residents of Sarangani and South Cotabato, including their local government units’ DRRM offices, barangays, and schools worked together to strengthen their respective towns’ preparedness during disaster and in addressing disaster risks.

The Aboitiz Foundation, with private weather information provider WeatherPhilippines Foundation, Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, and the University of the Philippines National Operational Assessment of Hazards Center conducted a two-day DRRM training to more than a hundred community members and school representatives to help make these communities disaster-proof.

The training, organized last July 9 to 10 and 12 to 13 by AboitizPower’s Energy Sales team and its customers South Cotabato II Electric Cooperative, Inc and Cotabato Electric Cooperative, Inc., will help them prepare for and respond to hydro-meteorological and geological hazards.

Last July 3, a 5.6-magnitude earthquake struck Glan, Sarangani, while Kabacan, South Cotabato has been placed under a state of calamity due to floods that submerged seven barangay following torrential rains. These incidents have reinforced active participation during the training sessions.

“I realized that our community was exposed to different hazards and it is important to have the right plans on how to reduce risk and strengthen our capacities. Plans should not be for compliance only, but should follow the right process,” said Rogilie Dagondon of Barangay Baliton.

“Beyond responding when calamities strike, we in the Aboitiz Group aim to foster a culture and mindset of resilience among our beneficiary communities, allowing them to prepare for and address hazards during disasters. This is part of our commitment to advance business and communities by co-creating safe, empowered, and sustainable communities,” said Maribeth Marasigan, First Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Aboitiz Foundation.

Levelling off with the participants prior to the training proper.

Fred Dalumpines of Aboitiz Foundation explains to the participants the concept of DRRM training.

Brainstorming with the participants on DRRM concepts.

Kaye Rosario of Weather Philippines Foundation highlights the importance of integrating the weather tools in disaster risk reduction.

Nikki Cadiz of UP NOAH facilitates the identification of hazards  in the community.

Joan Salcedo of DOST-PHIVOLCS presented to the participants the hazards of earthquake phenomenon.

One of the participant presented to the group  the identified capacity of their community.

The participants for School-Based DRRM training.

The participants for Community-Based DRRM training