QUEZON CITY, Jul 4 - As the Philippines celebrates National Disaster Resilience Month this July, the Center for Disaster Preparedness (CDP) stands firm in its dedication of building a resilient Philippines. As part of these efforts, CDP is excitedly approaching the closure of the Pinnovation Academy's Call for Expression of Interest on July 7th. This milestone brings us closer to welcoming a new wave of innovators committed to enhancing disaster resiliency in their respective communities.
“July is the yearly celebration of Disaster Resilience Month. How meaningful is the celebration to each one of us is a million-dollar question. It is a classic reminder,” CDP Executive Director Loreine Dela Cruz shared.
Dela Cruz said that resilience has become a positive attitude and way of thinking for nations and communities in the face of perennial hazards coming their way year in and year out. It connotes coping and strengthened capacity including the ability to absorb shocks and anticipate hazards turning into disasters. “Even as it brings the reality of the strengths and capacity of organizations and communities to manage disasters impacting them, it does not preclude the fact that in times of devastating emergencies, they would still need all the assistance and support to recover fast, bounce back, and move forward,” she added.
This year, National Disaster Resilience Month embraces the theme "BIDAng Pilipino: Building a Stronger Filipino Well-being towards Disaster Resilience." This theme calls upon every Filipino to actively participate in the creation of disaster-resilient communities. By expanding the scope to include mental health, along with increasing awareness of the risks and hazards in their respective communities, individuals and families can take the necessary steps to prepare themselves and contribute to their own safety and overall well-being.
For almost three decades, CDP has been at the forefront of supporting disaster resilience in the Philippines. As a non-governmental organization, CDP advocates for a resilient Philippines by empowering and capacitating communities, local government units, and other organizations to prepare for, respond to, and recover from, as well as to prevent and mitigate the effects of disasters.
“Napakahalga ng pagdidiwang ng DRR month natin sa panahon na ito kasi ito ang patuloy na nagpapaalala sa atin na tayo ay hindi mawawalan ng pagasa na kumilos para masigurado na handa ang mga komunidad natin,”
[‘It is very important for us to celebrate the DRR month, especially considering our present circumstances. Doing so will serve as a constant reminder and a source of motivation for us to actively address the needs of our communities,’] CDP Deputy Executive Director Mayfourth Luneta said.
“Paalala na lahat ay may bahagi dito. Hindi lang ito celebration ng ating success, ngunit nagsisilbi rin itong paalala na hindi pa natin naabot ang rurok ng tagumpay. At ang CDP, tayo ay patuloy na nag-aadvocate upang matulungan ang komunidad na maabot yung rurok ng tagumpay,”
[‘This is a reminder that we have our own part in this. It's not just about celebrating our success,, but also about recognizing that we still have a long way to go to reach our ultimate goal. And CDP, we will continue to advocate our mission of helping communities reach that goal,’] she added.
One of the remarkable initiatives undertaken by the CDP is the Pinnovation Academy which is currently under the organization’s Community Services Program (CSP). Through this platform, communities are encouraged to develop innovative solutions that address disaster risks and climate change. By creating such a platform, communities are empowered to highlight their valuable knowledge, experiences, and practices in disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation. Through the collaboration with Pinnovation Academy, a beacon of opportunity emerges, illuminating their path towards investment and funding.
“CDP works and strives for resilience but resists actors and stakeholders who are using it not to help and support affected people and communities but to divert funds for other purposes,” Dela Cruz said.
In addition, she pointed out that Filipinos are a resilient population, and would thrive and survive in whatever adversities and complexities they may encounter.
“It is timely and fitting to honor and recognize such virtues and character but not to stop investment in community-led development actions. How about making disaster resilience month an opportunity to pay it forward? Let us invest more in community-led actions of people’s organizations at the grassroots level in various thematic issues and concerns,” she added.
In line with their commitment to fostering innovation, Pinnovation Academy recently launched a Call for Expression of Interest on June 15 for their second cycle of seeking People's Organizations along with their innovative solutions that address disaster risks and climate change. The submission period will close on Friday, July 7, with the shortlisted entries being announced in the following weeks.