605 Displaced Families in Mindanao receive cash assistance to counter food insecurity

Photo by Juhaina Ebus for Action Against Hunger

MINDANAO — A total of 605 displaced families in Lanao del Sur and Maguindanao received cash assistance amounting to 5,000 and 3,400 last August 18 to 20, 2021 during our Cash-for-Food payout, an activity under REACH Mindanao’s food security and livelihood (FSL) program.

The cash assistance is intended to support families who are at risk of facing food insecurity due to experienced protracted displacement. Local government units and agencies are already responding to these vulnerable communities, but because there are certain areas that would be deemed more susceptible to conflicts, calamities, and now the COVID-19 pandemic, these additional threats exacerbate the living conditions of internally displaced people. The situation they face can also further limit their financial resources, therefore making it more difficult to provide enough healthy and nutritious food for the entire family.

Cash Assistance Payout: Muslim woman holds cash paper bills while standing in front of REACH 2 project banner.

This household head successfully claims the Php5,000 during the cash payout for Datu Piang participating families. (Photo by Juhaina Ebus for Action Against Hunger)

Aside from the mentioned amount, each participating family also received a small allowance to cover the household representative’s travel expenses going to the payout center. Among the initial recipients of the cash support, 375 families were home-based internally displaced persons residing in Masiu, Lanao del Sur while the remaining 230 families resided in flood-affected areas of Datu Piang, Maguindanao. The goal of the cash assistance is to help affected families to meet the minimum food consumption necessary for each member.

IDPs in Masiu are no longer strangers to ongoing conflict and disasters. The Municipality of Datu Piang on the other hand is reportedly considered as a “catch basin” of several rivers coming from neighboring provinces. This makes the area more prone to flooding which can be easily triggered by heavy rainfall.

The payout activity was conducted in coordination with the municipal local governments of Masiu, and Datu Piang. REACH Mindanao will continue to roll out a series of food security & livelihood support programs for specific vulnerable populations in Mindanao.

(Photo by Al-king Dilangalen for Action Against Hunger)

The ‘Response to the Unmet Humanitarian Needs of the Most Vulnerable Populations in Mindanao Affected by Conflict, Disasters, and the COVID-19 Pandemic’ (REACH) Project is funded by the European Union and is implemented by ACCORD IncorporatedAction Against Hunger PhilippinesCARE PhilippinesCommunity Organizers Multiversity, Initiatives for Dialogue and Empowerment through Alternative Legal Services (IDEALS) Inc., Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP)United Youth of the Philippines-Women and Oxfam Pilipinas.

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World Humanitarian Day 2021 – Jo An Jagape

In celebration of World Humanitarian Day 2021, meet Jo An Jagape, our FSL Assistant for Mindanao Program 2021, and one of our Real Life Heroes! Get to know Jo An and find out how what inspires her in her work as a humanitarian worker:

What is your role and/or key responsibilities in Action Against Hunger?

As Food Security and Livelihoods (FSL) Assistant, my responsibilities are to coordinate, profile, and identify target beneficiaries.  I assist my team in the implementation of the cash-for-food program; focusing on the most vulnerable, food-insecure displaced households and host communities affected by conflicts, disasters, and COVID-19 pandemic.

Photo taken before COVID-19 pandemic. Image courtesy of Jo An Jagape

 

How long have you been working as a humanitarian worker?     

Since 2005, after completing my college degree.  I was initially engaged with a local non-government organization based in Lanao del Norte as a finance staff, but along the way the organization involved me with other tasks from coordination, representation, trainings, youth organizing and exposed me to farmers & fisherfolk communities with different cultures. This nourished my social awareness.

My involvement with Action Against Hunger started during the 2012 Typhoon Sendong (WASHI) Emergency Response in Iligan City.  Since then, I have been involved in eight different Action Against Hunger projects, in different roles.

I’ve also had great experiences with other agencies or INGOs doing humanitarian work.  I’ve learned and cherished ideas that are new to me, and even enhanced and replicated these ideas to other projects. 

What motivated you to become a humanitarian worker?

I have a dream that someday we will collectively achieve the change we want for our next generation’s society.  When I was in college, I was involved in a youth organization.  This group helped me a lot in opening my mind and understanding the situation of our society. My eldest sister, Jet, who is also working with a local non-government organization encouraged me to try and work with a local NGO and along the way, I got the perspective of serving the community in need and understanding the principle of humanity. Working with communities that have different cultural and religious perspectives has influenced my passion for solidarity and to continue my humanitarian responsibility to serve the most vulnerable.

 

Photo taken before COVID-19 pandemic. Image courtesy of Jo An Jagape

 

Why are you making this sacrifice?

Someone asked me once why I am focusing now on the food security and livelihood sector when my previous engagement with NGOs was mostly linked with the financial side of things. For me, accounting work and recording books in a cozy office space have the same workload in the field but in a different twist. As an FSL staff, you will be dealing with everything, from office to communities’ concerns. Being in a technical team you must be responsible, adaptable, proactive, and have a sense of mindfulness to support any developments. Until now I am still eager to learn other concepts to help me improve strategies in responding efficiently during emergencies or in the recovery phase.

 

 Photo taken before COVID-19 pandemic. Image courtesy of Jo An Jagape

 

What have been the challenges to your work?

As a humanitarian worker, you take a lot of risks.  It might be your security, privacy, health condition, stress from workload, and being away from your family. It’s been more than a year since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and it has worsened with different variants. I remember last year that I was away from my 2 young children for almost a year because of pandemic protocols.  Balancing work and family time were greatly affected by the pandemic.

My current project has target areas that are located far from the base. It takes us 3 hours of travel time to arrive at the venue. Organizing a limited number of people in the area were done because of restricted mass gatherings while respondents and target households’ attendance was limited due to transportation concerns, fear from virus infection or just thinking that they’ll be forced to vaccinate. With all these work challenges the health & nutrition and community volunteers, RHU/LGU staff were very supportive to the team and flexible with their time to accommodate the planned activities. With their active participation, the project implementation went as planned.

The fear of becoming infected with the COVID-19 virus is inevitable, but what I do is protect myself with proper hygiene and discipline to prevent the virus.

 

What motivates you to keep doing your work even with these challenges?

In the current project I am in, I am very glad that I’m surrounded by colleagues that have a sense of urgency, who are very creative, and have an open mind to others’ opinions on how to implement efficiently the planned activities.  My team’s positive attitude keeps me motivated.

Photo taken before COVID-19 pandemic. Image courtesy of Jo An Jagape

 

What are you most proud of?

The positive learnings that I will bring wherever I might be assigned in my future humanitarian journey. My previous projects have exposed me to new knowledge. I remember my previous colleague, Jonathan Gorre, teaching me how to quickly determine nutritionally at-risk children and women using Mid-Upper Arm Circumference (MUAC) tapes. This knowledge, along with other quality learnings from other colleagues from different sectors will be with me forever.

Photo taken before COVID-19 pandemic. Image courtesy of Jo An Jagape

 

What climate change impact have you seen with your own eyes?

In 2021, people living in Mindanao have experienced rising temperatures, extreme heat that is unusual and is above the average recorded from the previous years. 

 

How are you helping combat climate change?

Combating climate change is very challenging! For me, I’ve changed to a minimalist lifestyle, practicing less consumption, and supporting green technology. I have also joined groups that advocate to plant more trees and develop an agroforest. Future generations will surely benefit the cause.

 The ‘Multi-Sectoral Lifesaving Assistance To People Most Vulnerable To The Covid-19 Pandemic, Conflict, and Disasters’ or Mindanao Program 2021 is funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA).

Help us fight climate change by leading The Human Race.

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Action Against Hunger Philippines joins #TheHumanRace on World Humanitarian Day

Two individuals carrying a white banner with the text "Joins..." along with #TheHumanRace logo (Green square with bold white capitalized text 'THE HUMAN RACE' followed by two yellow arrows, and a small text a the bottom 'World Humanitarian Day 2021'

Sheryl Bejerano and Emlan Lilangan, representatives of Action Against Hunger, hold #TheHumanRace banner. | Photo courtesy of Shey Bejerano.

MAGUINDANAO — Our team members broke a sweat this World Humanitarian Day as Action Against Hunger Philippines took part in The Human Race campaign last August 19, 2021.

Represented by our Cotabato team, Sheryl Bejerano (HR Officer) and Emlan Lilangan (Finance Officer) joined the World Humanitarian Day (WHD) 2021 activity at Barangay Labungan in Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao.

Along with other humanitarian organizations, our team members trekked about 6-8 kilometers in total, going to and fro Labungan School which hosted the program.

Individuals trekking a muddy dirt road, following a disorganized line.. Around them are green trees and bright blue sky.

Members of different humanitarian organizations trek the dirt road going to Labungan School #TheHumanRace | Photo by Shey Bejerano for Action Against Hunger

A tree-planting activity and a quick photo session followed thereafter to commemorate the event.

Female person in Action Against Hunger shirt wearing face mask and cap, holds a small tree to plant on the ground. Around her are green trees and bright blue sky.

Shey, HR Officer for Action Against Hunger Cotabato Field Office, plants a tree sapling during the WHD 2021 event. #TheHumanRace | Photo by Emlan Lilangan for Action Against Hunger

“As we highlight the immediate human cost of climate crisis, the eight kilometer trek and tree planting activity had been a very challenging and joyful journey, paired with a fruitful contribution towards a greener future while we continue to take action against climate change – one of the main causes of hunger in the world’s most vulnerable communities.” – Sheryl Bejerano, Human Resources Officer for Action Against Hunger – Cotabato Field Office

People posing for a photo. Behind them are green trees and bright blue sky.

Representatives of different humanitarian organizations gather for a photo session after #TheHumanRace hike. | Photo courtesy of Shey Bejerano.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN-OCHA) organized the said event, which had attendees from the World Food Programme (WFP), United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), International Organization for Migration (IOM), Plan International, Fondation Suisse de Déminage (FSD), Islamic Relief Worldwide, World Vision, Oxfam, Equal Access International (EQI), United Youth of the Philippines-Women, Inc., Mangunaya Mindanao Inc., Women’s Organization of Rajah Mamalu Descendants (WORMD), Save the Children, Community and Family Services International (CFSI), Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)United Nations Development – Sustainable Development (UNDP), United Nations Department for Safety and Security (UNDSS), United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS), and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

Several BARMM agencies also participated, including the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources and Energy (MENRE), Ministry of the Interior and Local Government (MILG), Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries and Agrarian Reform (MAFAR), Bangsamoro Planning and Development Authority (BPDA), and the Ministry of Social Services and Development (MSSD).

Six individuals sitting in a long table covered in yellow table cloth. Behind them is a green backdrop tarpaulin with bold text " THE HUMAN RACE" An audience is seated in front of them.

Photo by Shey Bejerano for Action Against Hunger

During the program, Melinda Malang, OCHA Head of Mindanao Sub Office, presented the rationale of the WHD 2021. The momentous event was held in solidarity with this year’s World Humanitarian Day campaign on climate action for the world’s most vulnerable people.


#TheHumanRace

The climate emergency is wreaking havoc across the world at a scale that people on the front lines and in the humanitarian community cannot
manage. Time is already running out for millions of the world’s most vulnerable people – those who have contributed least to the global climate emergency but are hit the hardest. Millions of people are already losing their homes, their livelihoods and their lives.

With most climate campaigns focused on slowing climate change and securing the planet’s future, World Humanitarian Day 2021 will highlight the immediate consequences for the world’s most vulnerable people. The campaign aims to ensure that their voices are heard and their needs top the agenda when world leaders meet at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in November.

“The climate emergency is a race we are losing, but it is a race that we can win.” – António Guterres, United Nations Secretary-General

#TheHumanRace is a global challenge for climate action in solidarity with the .people who need it most. Hosted on the sports app Strava, anyone can join the campaign by logging 100 minutes of total activity—either run, roll, ride, walk, swim, kick or hit a ball—between August 16 to 31. People who don’t wish to take part physically can also virtually support #TheHumanRace via the campaign microsite.

Register or know more about #TheHumanRace

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World Humanitarian Day 2021 – Louie Bullanday

In celebration of World Humanitarian Day 2021, meet Louie Bullanday, MOVE UP 4 Mindanao’s DRR Supervisor, and one of our Real Life Heroes! Get to know Kim and find out how he takes action against climate change:

 

What is your role and/or key responsibilities in Action Against Hunger?

As DRR Supervisor, my role is to provide technical assistance to LGU and pilot communities to improve their resilience mechanisms.  These include advocating for Alternative Temporary Shelter systems that promote protection and dignity to displaced people caused by disasters, formulate clear social protection plans and promote resilient livelihood strategies

Photo courtesy of Louie Bullanday

 

How long have you been working as a humanitarian worker?

I have been working as a humanitarian worker for 12 years.

 

What motivates you to become a humanitarian worker?

The feeling of fulfillment despite challenges is what motivates me. Many are called, but only a few are chosen to do this kind of work. I was chosen to become an instrument to deliver assistance to the survivors of any calamities, and ensuring that the dignities of these people are being upheld.   

 

Why are you making this sacrifice?

Being able to relieve the suffering of people from a disaster gives me fulfillment. I love this kind of work because you see people happy and witnessing their sincere gratitude.

Photo courtesy of Louie Bullanday

What have been the challenges to your work?

Working in communities that do not treat preparedness and resiliency as one of their priorities. They are taking it for granted. 

 

What motivates you to keep doing your work even with these challenges?

The welfare of those families that are dependent on assistance or support from their government, especially the most vulnerable sectors like children, elderly, and PWD.

My family, especially my children, motivates me to do my best at work.  I want to be a good example to them.

 

What are you most proud of?

When I led my team to deliver assistance to affected communities during our previous emergency response. The sincere expressions of gratitude and smiles from the people energized the team to continue to do good.

Photo courtesy of Louie Bullanday

What climate change impact have you seen with your own eyes?

The changes in weather pattern which greatly affects farmers. Farmers can no longer depend on rain coming during the rainy season.

 

How do you help in combating climate change?

My contribution to the fight against climate change is by promoting proper waste disposal, planting more trees, and helping in information campaigns. I strive to be a good example.

Photo courtesy of Louie Bullanday

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World Humanitarian Day 2021 – Nino Kim Diez

In celebration of World Humanitarian Day 2021, meet Nino Kim R. Diez, ProACT’s Project Officer and one of our Real Life Heroes! Get to know Kim and find out how he takes action against climate change:

 

What is your role and/or key responsibilities in Action Against Hunger?

I take the lead in implementing the ProACT Project in the province of Surigao del Sur. The aim of the project is to improve vulnerable communities’ resilience to disasters and climate change. 

 

How long have you been working as a humanitarian worker?

I have been working as a humanitarian worker for 13 years.

 

What motivates you to become a humanitarian worker?

My motivation comes from my personal experiences and struggles in the past. I have seen that vulnerable sectors often do not have enough representation, especially us who are differently-abled. Most of the local governments before do not have concrete programs that specifically cater to these sectors. I want to be able to fill that gap in my own way.

Photo courtesy of Nino Kim Diez

Why are you making this sacrifice?

I am a teacher by profession, but I have chosen to be in the development work because as I see it, it is not only the children who need attention but also other vulnerable groups such as women, PWD’s, Senior Citizens, and Indigenous People.

 

What have been the challenges to your work?

Being away from my family is a big challenge for me. Sometimes I cry when I realize that, while I am serving the underserved communities, my family is longing for my presence as well. One other challenge is the different political and cultural environments that I encounter in my work almost every day.

 

What motivates you to keep doing your work even with these challenges?

Despite these challenges, I continue doing the work because I have a mission to fulfill for myself, especially for the people who are unfortunate in life. It is both the love and understanding of my family that fuel me to continue humanitarian work.

 

What are you most proud of?

I am very proud to become an instrument in the development of communities, especially the people who have been hit by disasters. I have become part of their successful journey toward building a better life and achieving their dreams.

 

What climate change impact have you seen with your own eyes?

The effects of climate change are inevitable.  Through the years, I have seen the sea level rise and changes in seasonal patterns.  These, coupled with the increased frequency of typhoons, have greatly impacted the communities I work in. 

 

How do you help in combating climate change?

I always encourage my team to plan and combine our trips when doing fieldwork.  I also try to go paperless, be it in the office or in the field, as much as possible.  Moreover, I encourage the community, especially farmers, to use low-cost technologies and environmentally-friendly agricultural techniques.  Lastly, I participate in the political process of formulating plans to address climate change.

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Barangays in Davao de Oro receive early warning devices

Photo by Lea Anora for Action Against Hunger (2021)

DAVAO DE ORO — Just last August 13, 2021,  twenty (20) barangays in Maco and Mabini, Davao de Oro had received early warning devices from Action Against Hunger through our ProACT Project.

Weather patterns have become unpredictable due to climate change. Many communities in the area have been experiencing various weather events and calamities. Because of this, we wanted to ensure that these communities are well informed and duly prepared in the event of a disaster.

Photo by Lea Anora for Action Against Hunger (2021)

These early warning devices will be tested during community drills which are scheduled to occur within the months of August to September, during which increased rainfall will be expected.

Photo by Lea Anora for Action Against Hunger (2021)

This disaster risk reduction (DRR) support is part of our commitment to building resilient communities by supporting barangays to have efficient early warning protocols, while improving the information dissemination community members and other groups, coming from the barangay level or local government units (BLGU).

Photo by Keith Filipinas for Action Against Hunger (2021)

ProACT aims to strengthen the partner communities’ capacities with regard to climate change adaptation, promotion of food security, and also income generation. To do so, the project uses a value chain approach for 3,650 families affected by disasters in the provinces of Agusan del Sur, Surigao del Sur, and Davao de Oro.

The main goal is to improve disaster, climate resilience, and socio-economic conditions of vulnerable communities we work with.

 

‘Advancing Climate and Disaster Resilience Transformation in the Provinces of Agusan Del Sur, Surigao Del Sur, and Davao de Oro’ (ProACT) is a consortium project funded by the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation or Agencia Española de Cooperación Internacional para el Desarrollo (AECID), and implemented by Action Against Hunger and Fundacion CODESPA.


Written by Vina Menez. Edited by Joyce Anne Sandajan.

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World Humanitarian Day 2021 – Sitti Mhuriza Mamasalagat

In celebration of World Humanitarian Day 2021, meet Sitti Mhuriza Gampal-Mamasalagat, one of our Real Life Heroes: 

 

What is your role and/or key responsibilities in Action Against Hunger?

I am a team leader and a mentor. I may be the “Captain of the Ship,” but I value my “Mates” most. I am trained to train future “Captains” and set to be a good example.

Photo courtesy of Sitti Mhuriza Mamasalagat (Disclaimer: This photo was taken before the COVID-19 pandemic)

 

How long have you been working as a humanitarian worker?

Formally started my humanitarian career in February 2014 with Action Against Hunger.

Photo courtesy of Sitti Mhuriza Mamasalagat (Disclaimer: This photo was taken before the COVID-19 pandemic)

What motivates you to become a humanitarian worker?

It is already in me way before I became part of any humanitarian organization. I never knew that life prepared me to be the person who I am now. [And] it all made sense when I became a Professional Registered Nurse and it led me to a whole different level of care when I became a humanitarian worker; both have a common goal and definition, that is to “Save Lives” and inspire others to do the same.

 

Photo courtesy of Sitti Mhuriza Mamasalagat

What motivates you to keep doing your work even with these challenges?

I definitely believe that my existence serves a purpose and only few are chosen to have this opportunity – to make a difference and be an inspiration to the affected communities. The challenges, I face them with courage and perseverance.  All my experiences in the past enabled me to see and realize that having a positive perspective can help me think of new ways to assist individuals in need.

 

Photo courtesy of Sitti Mhuriza Mamasalagat

What are you most proud of?

I am nothing without the support of others who believed in me. I am nothing if not because of the helping hands of the people surrounding me. That is why I am proud of my family, friends, and colleagues who stood by me. Wearing different and same hats, working in all sorts of shaped tables, writing on the same notes while using various pens, I had one goal: make people’s lives better, comfortable, and just.

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Hundreds of displaced families in Zamboanga City receive multi-sectoral cash assistance

On September 9, 2013, conflict broke out in Zamboanga City between the Armed Forces of the Philippines and a rebel group, an event that displaced 109,000 people in the city alone.

Eight years after the Zamboanga Siege, more than 700 families are still living in transitory sites of Masepla, Rio Hondo, Asinan, and Buggoc and they face further setbacks when COVID-19 started. Many have been struggling with food insecurity after losing their livelihoods as a result of the pandemic.

Under our project funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), we hope to support the remaining displaced residents through a Multi-purpose Cash Assistance (MPCA) program.

During the first round of the payout last July 28, an initial 167 families had received 5,100 pesos which can be used for livelihood, hygiene, health, or shelter purposes among many others. Some of the participants who had already received the cash assistance have reportedly spent it on either capital for their small business, medicine and health services, or shelter purposes such as rental payment and purchasing of kitchenwares and solar lamps.

This marks the first MPCA activity of the project as the team will be conducting scheduled payouts in the coming weeks.


Our ‘Multi-Sectoral Lifesaving Assistance To People Most Vulnerable To The Covid-19 Pandemic, Conflict, and Disasters’ is funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA).

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ProAct spearheads ‘New Normal’ Disaster Community Drill in Davao de Oro

Representatives for Barangay Anitapan on stand-by at evacuation camp stations while waiting for ‘evacuees’ of the landslide simulation last July 28, 2021 | Barangay Anitapan, Mabini, Davao de Oro (Photo by Vina Menez for Action Against Hunger)

MABINI, DAVAO DE ORO — In order to increase community awareness on disaster risks, our ProAct Project team initiated an activity entitled, “Community Drill Towards a Resilient Disaster Governance in the New Normal” last July 28 and 30, 2021. This was conducted in partnership with the Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (DRRMO) and Municipal Social Welfare Department (MSWD) of the Municipality of Mabini, Davao de Oro.

Community members of Barangay Anitapan participate in the landslide simulation during the community drill last July 28, 2021 | Anitapan, Mabini, Davao De Oro (Photo by Mark Dalin-as for Action Against Hunger)

Community residents of Barangays Anitapan, and San Antonio actively participated in the simulation exercises focusing on landslides and flooding.

MDRRMO representatives demonstrate emergency response through a simulation during the community drill at San Antonio, Mabini, Davao De Oro | July 30, 2021 (Photo by Nino Diez for Action Against Hunger)

COVID-related scenarios and standard health protocols were also included in the drill to test BDRRMC’s capacity in handling multiple hazards. The early warning actions, evacuation camp and management protocols, and community responses had been assessed and evaluated using pre-designed criteria identified in the contingency plans.

Health volunteer in full PPE during the ProACT community drill at Anitapan, Mabini, Davao De Oro | July 28, 2021 (Photo by Vina Menez for Action Against Hunger)

The activities were also held in observance of National Disaster Resilience Month 2021, putting more emphasis on strengthening the capacities of local communities for effective response, and adhering to in-depth rehabilitation and recovery efforts in the midst of a pandemic.

Simulation of emergency rescue operations during the community drill at Anitapan, Mabini, Davao De Oro | July 28, 2021 (Photo by Vina Menez for Action Against Hunger)

Advancing Climate and Disaster Resilience Transformation in the Provinces of Agusan Del Sur, Surigao Del Sur, And Davao De Oro orProACT‘ is a consortium project implemented by Action Against Hunger Philippines and Fundacion CODESPA, with funding from the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID).

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Local Government Academy, MOVE UP Consortium ink partnership agreement to promote disaster resilience

From left to right: Local Government Academy (LGA) Executive Director Thelma Vecina, CARE Philippines Country Director David Gazashvili, ACCORD Inc. Executive Director Sindhy Obias, Action Against Hunger Philippines Disaster Risk Reduction Coordinator Juan Blenn Huelgas (representing Country Director Suresh Murugesu), Plan International Philippines Country Program Manager for Disaster Resilience Chrisnobel Cruz (representing Country Director Annie Locsin), LGA Assistant Director Esmeralda Daphne Purnell, and MOVE UP Project Consortium Manager Roger Cabiles sign the Partnership Agreement today during the virtual ceremonial signing program. (Courtesy of MOVE UP 4 Consortium)

28 July 2021 – The Local Government Academy (LGA) and the Moving Urban Poor Communities Towards Resilience (MOVE UP) Project signed a partnership agreement as part of their commitment to strengthen disaster resilience.

Cooperation between the capacity and development arm of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and MOVE UP includes the review of various L!STO Operations Manual and conduct of capacity development interventions to local chief executives and other relevant stakeholders involved in disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM) activities.

The MOVE UP project, funded by the European Union, aims to help in institutionalizing urban resilience and disaster preparedness mechanisms for urban poor communities across the Philippines. The project is implemented by a consortium of international non-government organizations led by Action Against Hunger Philippines, with Plan International Philippines, CARE Philippines, and ACCORD.

During the event, LGA Executive Director Thelma Vecina said the ceremonial signing is highly symbolic as it coincides with the celebration of the National Disaster Resilience Month and is aligned with the LGA’s vision to build resilience through local government capacity-building activities.

“Today’s partnership is really significant and symbolic as we celebrate the National Disaster Resilience Month this July. For us in the LGA, this is really a great contribution to our efforts to build resilience of the local governments,” she said.

Furthermore, LGA Executive Director Vecina expressed that the LGA believes that increasing disaster resilience requires collective will and action from and among the communities, the local leaders, and stakeholders. “This is one among our many efforts to translate these commitments into actions. Hopefully, this initiates more cooperation in the future that will strengthen our nation’s resilience towards disaster,” she added.

Meanwhile, Juan Blenn Huelgas, Disaster Risk Reduction Coordinator of Action Against Hunger Philippines underscored the important role played by local government units in our collective effort to reduce the impact of disasters.

“Our local government units are at the forefront of mitigation, prevention, response, and management of these risks and vulnerabilities. It is right that we strengthen their capacities on resilience so that our urban poor population can withstand and manage the impact of natural and human-induced disasters, the very objective of the MOVE UP Consortium,” Huelgas said.

Child-centered organization Plan International Philippines’ Country Program Manager for Disaster Resilience Chrisnobel Cruz, meanwhile, emphasized the effects of disasters on the most vulnerable population, particularly girls and young women.

“Disasters could be detrimental to our effort to protect the rights and welfare of girls and young women. Disasters, and the crisis that comes with it, subject young women to the continual risk of violence, child marriage, and early and unplanned pregnancy, and threaten to roll back gains made in girls’ access to education,” Cruz said.

A strong partnership between the government and the civil society is needed to continuously increase the capacity of LGUs to prepare for and respond to disasters amid the mobility restrictions brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, CARE Philippines Country Director David Gazashvili said.

“As of last year, our webinar series entitled the Resilience Knowledge Exchange Series (RKES) reached 95 academic institutions, 80 CSOs, 83 national or regional government agencies, and 27 private-sector organizations. All of this of course would not be possible without the dedicated and passionate work of our partners and funders in the implementation of various development programs across the country. Therefore, we greatly cherish and foster the partnerships and collaborations with the likes of our consortium members and the DILG-LGA,” he said.

The Partnership Agreement, ACCORD Executive Director Sindhy Obias said, is a collective promise to share expertise to support local government units who are on the frontline in DRRM activities.

“As we sign this partnership agreement today, we view it not just a piece of paper but an expression of our collective commitment to work together towards the common goal of supporting our partners, particularly the local governments who are on the frontline when it comes to dealing with disasters, among many other related concerns on the ground. Being part of the MOVE UP consortium, ACCORD is very excited to work with DILG-LGA and share our experiences in resilience building,” Obias said.

Watch the Virtual Ceremonial Signing

Moving Urban Poor Communities Toward Resilience (MOVE UP 4) is funded by the European Union and implemented by a consortium of partners consisting of Action Against Hunger Philippines, Plan International Philippines, CARE Philippines, and ACCORD Incorporated.


For inquiries or concerns, contact: Claudine Complativo,

Communications and Advocacy Specialist (MOVE UP Project)  | 0906-589-8180

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed are those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union, or the consortium members.

Neither the European Union nor any of the consortium members can be held responsible for them.
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