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MOVE UP 4 activates Rapid Response to assist displaced families following gas spill in Kidapawan

KIDAPAWAN CITY – Ninety-seven displaced families from Barangay Ilomavis were given hygiene kits and basic personal protective equipment (PPE) from the MOVE UP 4 project last October 30, 2021.

In photo: Team members at the Sitio Lake Agko evacuation center. (Photo by Jan Iddo Azucena for Action Against Hunger | Cotabato, Philippines)

Most of these families are temporarily staying in evacuation camps in Sitio Lake Agko after a gas spillage occurred three weeks prior, causing undesirable and potentially hazardous fumes. The incident prompted the residents to leave their homes for health and safety reasons. There is an ongoing investigation as to the cause of the spillage.

In photo: Hygiene kits are being unloaded from the delivery truck, to be distributed to displaced families in Barangay Ilomavis. (Photo by Jan Iddo Azucena for Action Against Hunger | Cotabato, Philippines)

The drilling operation had produced undesirable and potentially hazardous fumes. The incident prompted the residents to leave their homes for health and safety reasons, particularly for the well-being of children, pregnant individuals, differently-abled persons, and the elderly. Displaced families are expected to stay at the evacuation site until the end of November 2021.

In photo: MOVE UP 4 team conducts a hygiene promotion session during the distribution. (Photo by Jan Iddo Azucena for Action Against Hunger | Cotabato, Philippines)

Photo by Jan Iddo Azucena for Action Against Hunger (Cotabato, Philippines)

The Kidapawan City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) along with the Energy Development Corporation (EDC) had provided food packs for the displaced families which are expected to last for a week. but will only last for a week. MOVE UP 4 is currently in coordination with the local government of Kidapawan in assessing other potential needs of the affected community.

Photo by Jan Iddo Azucena for Action Against Hunger (Cotabato, Philippines)

This assistance is part of MOVE UP 4’s rapid response mechanism (RRM) activities. The goal of the RRM is to ensure that people who are affected by sudden emergencies—such as conflicts and disasters—have timely access to life-saving humanitarian aid.

Photo by Jan Iddo Azucena for Action Against Hunger (Cotabato, Philippines)

Moving Urban Poor Communities Towards Resilience (MOVE UP) is a consortium project that offers durable solutions in terms of capacitating local governments and communities in mitigating the adverse socio-economic effects of disasters. With funding from the European Union, MOVE UP 4 is implemented by Action Against HungerPlan InternationalCARE Philippines, and ACCORD Incorporated


Written by Louie Bullanday, Roger Cabiles, Jr. | Edited by Joyce Sandajan.
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Promoting inclusive household decision-making to empower rural women

MINDANAO — Women and girls in rural communities have been providing invaluable contributions in development, particularly towards nutrition, food security, and building climate resilience. However, gender and development indicators have consistently shown that rural women and girls are generally more vulnerable to poverty and the impacts of climate change as compared to rural men and women in urban communities.

In 2019, Action Against Hunger Philippines with the guidance of our International Gender Desk conducted a gender analysis within our partner communities at the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (BARMM). The results of the analysis showed that roles in Mindanao seem to have changed from traditionally assigned gender roles and responsibilities, with women now being more involved in productive activities. However, this does not seem to have reduced the allotted time women dedicate to reproductive work. With women spending more time on productive tasks, but not less reproductive ones, a significant increase in their overall workload was noted.

Door-to-door nutrition and hygiene promotion sessions in Lanao Del Sur | Photo by Theresa Cortes for Action Against Hunger (Lanao del Sur, Philippines © 2020)

The gender analysis also noted that although both women and men participate in income-generating activities and decide together on some key issues, key decisions like mobility, heritage, what specific work is assigned to each person, and the use of family land, etc. still fall under the decision of men. Evidently, this is one of the factors barring women’s access to income-generating activities since farming is considered the region’s main source of income. Agricultural labor like tending to the fields is mainly considered as the responsibility of men. Therefore, it comes with no surprise that men also present the highest percentages of agriculture knowledge.

Because of our commitment to mainstream gender equality in all our programs, we are aiming to maximize project outcomes while promoting gender empowerment. To do this, we plan to integrate interventions that are influencing household decision-making into existing food security & livelihoods programming.

HHDM Session in Calanogas facilitated by the project team | Photo by DRR-BHA Project Team for Action Against Hunger (Calanogas, Philippines © 2021)

Household decision-making impacts child health and nutrition in multiple ways. It influences underlying causes of undernutrition: decisions related to household production, household consumption, and caregiving practices. Household decision-making can also lead to improvements in women’s mobility; control of own time and income; men’s trust, confidence, and respect for women; women’s own self-confidence; and the sharing of household chores.

Photo by Rosa May Maitem for Action Against Hunger (Maguindanao, Philippines © 2013)

Using the Household Decision-Making (HHDM) Approach, we aim to shift household behaviors regarding decision-making and distribution of household work by spotlighting the work performed by women at reproductive and productive levels and adding more value to their contributions. The HHDM approach will hopefully encourage family members to contribute equitably—allowing each member to learn, cope, adapt and transform in the face of shocks and stresses and therefore increase household and community resilience in the long run.

“This innovative approach will enhance our FSL strategies making it more inclusive and gender transformative,” – Menchie Lacson

The HHDM approach is based on the household dialogue toolkit developed by Mercy Corps, which we’ve adapted appropriately to the context of Filipino communities, particularly in Mindanao. This was made possible through the support and guidance of Bishnu Bahadur Khatri, a seasoned international expert, and researcher on household dialogue along with human rights, child rights, social inclusion, gender-based violence, climate change, and gender equality among many others.

HHDM Session in Calanogas facilitated by the project team | Photo by DRR-BHA Project Team for Action Against Hunger (Calanogas, Philippines © 2021)

A Household Decision Making Approach Facilitator Guidebook is currently in the works, which we will be piloting through our USAID-funded disaster risk reduction project. In the meantime, the HHDM approach nonetheless has since been implemented following an online ‘training of trainers’ (ToT) on Family and Household Dialogue. The five-day training was facilitated by Bishnu Khatri last from April 8-12, 2021 and was participated by Action Against Hunger staff from the Philippines’ Manila head office, Cotabato field office, and international headquarters.

Action Against Hunger staff with Bishnu Khatri (top-right) during the last day of the HHD Training (April 12, 2021)

“This innovative approach will enhance our FSL strategies making it more inclusive and gender transformative, [We’re] grateful for your generosity in sharing your knowledge and expertise on this approach Bishnu,” says Menchie Lacson, the Food Security & Livelihoods (FSL) Coordinator and selected Gender Champion for Action Against Hunger Philippine Mission.

As we push for long-term development, we are hopeful that more women and girls in rural communities will have active involvement in decision-making and community participation through effective and inclusive household dialogues.

‘Strengthening Local Resilience and Building Capacities in Area at High Risk of Natural Hazards in BARMM, Mindanao’ is a disaster risk reduction (DRR) project funded by the United States Agency for International Development’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (USAID-BHA) and implemented by Action Against Hunger.


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Empowering Rural Women: Community Savings Group Leader joins online dialogue in support of UN Food Systems Summit 2021

In celebration of the International Day of Rural Women tomorrow, we honor Alma Bayawan and her dedication to empowering her community towards resilience by promoting sustainable livelihoods.

“As a leader of our Community Savings Group, I will share with my members the importance of planting more types of crops and use practical ways to increase our crop production and would increase income and most especially we will ensure that our families have food to eat,” Alma Bayawan, Uswag CSG Leader

Bilang leader sa among Community Savings Group (CSG), akong I share sa akong mga members ang importansya sa pagtanom ug pag gamit sa praktikal nga paagi aron mas modaghan among tanom ug makadugang sa income ug masiguro nga adunay makaon among mga pamilya, shares Alma.

Alma is the incumbent leader of the Uswag CSG in Barangay Illomavis, Kidapawan City. On September 9, 2021, she represented her community as she participated in the Food Systems Independent Dialogue, ‘Building Resilient Local Food Systems by 2030’ which was last spearheaded online by the International Institute of Rural Reconstruction (IIRR).

Alma joins the Food Systems Independent Dialogue: Building Resilient Local Food Systems by 2030 online via Zoom | © Photo by Roger Cabiles for Action Against Hunger

She provided her insights from the discussion, wherein she mentions, Natun-an nako nga dili lang dapat isa ka klase ang itanom sa uma, mas mayo nga magtanom pud ug laing klase nga tanom nga mohaum sa klima sa among lugar ug mosukol sa taas nga init o kanunay nga pag-ulan sama sa kamoteng kahoy o kamoteng balagon. Aside sa makadugang kini sa among income, aduna pud kami dugang nga kakuhaan ug pagkaon sa among mga pamilya.”

“I learned that I should not rely on a single variety of crop to be planted in the field, it is better also to plant other types of crops that will suit the climate of our place and could resist in drought or frequent rains such as cassava or sweet potato. Aside from increasing our income, we would also have additional sources of food for our families.”

The main objective of the activity is to solicit concrete actionable commitments from various stakeholders. These will be their contribution to the quest in ensuring safe and nutritious food for all, which is also in support of the United Nations Food Systems Summit 2021.

© Photo by Roger Cabiles for Action Against Hunger

“Daghan kong natun-an sa akong pag apil gahapon sa virtual dialogue. Una, na meet nako ang uban nga participants sa laing lugar nga pareha pud nako usa ka farmer ug padayon nga naningkamot sa pagtanom aron maka income ug adunay makaon ang pamilya,” she said. Alma hopes to share with her fellow members the resilient strategies she had learned from the dialogue with her fellow CSG members.

“I have learned a lot from my participation in the virtual dialogue, I met other participants in other places who are also farmers like me and continued to grow crops to earn an income and have food for the family,”

Like Alma, we recognize the work of rural women ─ they are real-life heroines in the world’s food systems. “Uswag” means ‘develop’ and agreeably, rural women’s significant contributions to nutrition, food security, and climate resilience put their communities on the right path towards sustainable development.

© Photo by Louie Bullanday for Action Against Hunger

The Food Systems Independent Dialogue was convened by IIRR in partnership with the Philippine Coalition of Advocates for Nutrition Security, Inc. (PhiLCAN), Philippine Society of Nutritionist-Dietitians, Inc. (PSND), PROLINNOVA Philippines Country Platform (PROLINNOVA), and Scaling Up Nutrition-Civil Society Alliance Philippines (SUN-CSA PH). Action Against Hunger is a member of PhiLCAN.

Moving Urban Poor Communities Towards Resilience (MOVE UP 4) is a consortium project that offers durable solutions in terms of capacitating local governments and communities in mitigating the adverse socio-economic effects of disasters. With funding from the European Union, MOVE UP 4 is implemented by Action Against HungerPlan InternationalCARE Philippines, and ACCORD Incorporated.


Written by Roger Cabiles, Jr. | Edited by  Joyce Sandajan.

Real Life Heroes – Angela Nalaunan

Angela’s involvement with Action Against Hunger started back in 2014 when she became part of our Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) Emergency Response in Northern Iloilo. Now, she is a Project Assistant for our USAID-funded disaster risk reduction (DRR) project in BARMM, and a Real-Life Hero!

Get to know Ma. Angela Nalaunan and what sparked her motivations to become a catalyst for change.


What is your role in Action Against Hunger?

As project assistant for the “Strengthening Local Resilience and Building Capacities in Areas at High Risk of Natural Hazards in BARMM, Mindanao” project, my responsibility is coordinating with community partners and leaders, especially with the local government at both barangay and municipal levels. I also facilitate training sessions and provide awareness and information to the community with regards to disaster risk reduction, and resilient livelihood.

How long have you been working as a humanitarian worker?

I’ve been working as a humanitarian for a decade now. I was involved with Action Against Hunger before, from 2014 to 2015, as PhATSS Officer for our Typhoon Yolanda Emergency Response in Northern Iloilo.

What motivated you to become a humanitarian worker?

Being a research student when I was in college, I was exposed to different communities in different situations. After seeing and understanding what they were experiencing, it gave me a sense of purpose— to become a catalyst for change. That’s why I became a humanitarian worker.

Why are you making this sacrifice?

Working with different kinds of people is a challenging job. But being a vessel of hope, sharing one’s expertise, and seeing people with a smile on their faces is one of the most rewarding things in this world.

What have been the challenges to your work?

There are times when work is a bit out of control and things don’t go as planned. But, what is important is that you overcome these obstacles because you want to be a part of something good.

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

Always go back to your purpose, remind yourself why are you are here, and you will just overcome those challenges.

What are you most proud of?

Being a catalyst for change for a lot of people.

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

Being in a DRR project I have seen and expose to a lot of natural disasters like floods, typhoons, and earthquakes. Seeing this community affected by this calamity is heartbreaking, it took away their property, livelihood, and worst their loved ones, and it is very devastating.

How are you taking action against climate change?

By sharing awareness, facilitating training, and giving information regarding Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Actions that the community could understand.


Strengthening Local Resilience and Building Capacities in Area at High Risk of Natural Hazards in BARMM, Mindanao‘ is a disaster risk reduction (DRR) project funded by the United States Agency for International Development’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (USAID-BHA) and implemented by Action Against Hunger.

MOVE UP team co-evaluates landslide simulation drill in Kidapawan City

KIDAPAWAN CITY — Action Against Hunger, under the MOVE UP 4 Project, served as one of the evaluators for the community landslide simulation drill in Sitio Embasi last September 16, 2021. The drill was facilitated by the local government of Barangay Perez, Kidapawan City in accordance with the 3rd Quarter Nationwide Earthquake Simulation Drill.

Aside from the Action Against Hunger’s MOVE UP team, representatives from the Philippine Red Cross, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine National Police, and the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO) & City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) of Kidapawan evaluated the said simulation activity.

Sitio Embasi is one of the highly hazard-prone areas in Barangay Perez because of its steep location. The remote community was heavily affected during the landslide caused by the October 2019 Mindanao Earthquakes. This negatively impacted as many as 90 families who have been displaced since. To date, many of these families are still residing in evacuation centers since the relocation site organized by the Kidapawan City governments is yet to be completed.

The simulation drill began at exactly 9:10 a.m., kicking off with the community alarm siren and signaling the evacuation of about 30 families living in the area.
During the simulation, the barangay local government unit (BLGU) responded promptly to the ‘landslide victims’ who had fled their homes.
A triage and first aid station for casualties were also established.

Photo courtesy of Kidapawan City Information Office

Meanwhile, the barangay social workers assisted in the evacuation of the families and then facilitated the distribution of food relief who were relocated to Datu Igwas Integrated IP School. Similar to actual emergency situations, the said school was turned into an evacuation center during the drill.

Photo courtesy of Kidapawan City Information Office

One of the potential challenges raised during the activity was the evacuation of families with COVID-19 exposure—those who are undergoing isolation or quarantine. This is where members of the City Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (CESU) were called in to assist in the evacuation. Their main role is to ensure that suspected, probable, and confirmed COVID patients will not infect others should an evacuation take place.

In photo: First responders act out a rescue situation during the landslide simulation drill at Sitio Embasi, Barangay Perez last September 16. 2021. (Photo courtesy of Kidapawan City Information Office)

The roles of MOVE UP and other evaluators at the scene were to measure and determine the community’s preparedness in the event of a landslide in their area. As a result, any gaps or areas for improvement noted from the activity were expected to be addressed in the barangay’s evacuation plans.

Moving Urban Poor Communities Towards Resilience (MOVE UP 4) is a consortium project that offers durable solutions in terms of capacitating local governments and communities in mitigating the adverse socio-economic effects of disasters. With funding from the European Union, MOVE UP 4 is implemented by Action Against HungerPlan InternationalCARE Philippines, and ACCORD Incorporated.


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Real Life Heroes – Lyndon Arbes

For  Lyndon Arbes, being able to spark change and making a lasting impact in society is both his pride and joy. The drive to help others in need emanates from a propensity to put himself in the others’ shoes. This, he shares, is rooted in his personal experience during his humble beginnings.

Now working as the Deputy Head of Project for our MOVE UP Mindanao project, Lyndon shares with us the lessons he gained from his 22 years of working as a humanitarian worker, or rather, as a real-life hero.


What is your role in Action Against Hunger?

I am currently the Deputy Head of Project for the Moving Urban Poor in Mindanao Towards Resilience (MOVE UP 4) project. My role for the project is to manage, coordinate, implement, monitor, and evaluate all the activities in Action Against Hunger in strengthening the resilience of the urban poor against human, natural and climate-induced hazards. We do this by building and supporting the capacities of communities on resilient livelihoods. The project also advocates for the inclusion of alternative temporary shelters, technical assistance on camp management, social protection, and/or risk-transfer modalities in local government disaster risk reduction management plans.

Photo courtesy of Lyndon Arbes

How long have you been working as a humanitarian worker?

I have been in the development work and humanitarian for 22 years now.

What motivated you to become a humanitarian worker?

Coming from a poor family, I fully understand how difficult life can be. I empathize with communities, especially with our farmers and other vulnerable sectors, who have experienced devastating impacts of disasters—losing livelihoods over and over, or grieving over lost lives.

Being a development and humanitarian worker is a noble work and profession that provides me the opportunity to give back to the people in need. Through my work, I am able to help others improve their socio-economic condition, protect their lives and livelihoods, and enabling them to withstand and bounce back after disasters. Seeing their faces brimming with so much joy is what inspires me most.

 

Why are you making this sacrifice?

We are all human and everyone deserves help. We need to care for others the same way we care for ourselves, and our families.

 

Photo courtesy of Lyndon Arbes

 

What have been the challenges to your work?

Working in the development sector is sometimes a very complex process considering that communities we work with have different social, cultural, and political contexts. So, sometimes you need to be creative and innovative in the ways you advocate them. Adding to this challenge is the current COVID-19 pandemic which brings us certain limitations. But we make our maximizing our efforts now more than ever in enabling communities to be more vigilant in case of potential crises, while at the same time learning to exercise caution against COVID-19.

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

Working with farmers and the most vulnerable sector of our community has always been my passion. Seeing them transform their lives with smiles on their faces gives me a sense of fulfillment, and also my source of motivation.

What are you most proud of?

In my 22 years of working with humanitarian organizations, what I am most proud of is being part of a community that is helping improve the lives of many with the utmost sincerity and passion. I am proud to have this as my legacy.

Just recently, we were able to mobilize around twenty-seven community savings groups in Kidapawan City with total savings, social funds, and livelihood amounting to 1.5 million pesos. These savings came directly from all the members, which they managed to accumulate in less than a year. It makes me proud how a change in their mindset and attitude has allowed them to achieve this milestone—not only are they financially literate and independent but they are also more prepared and resilient.

Photo by Jan Azucena for Action Against Hunger

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

Climate change is real, and it’s been happening not only now but even way back. If you saw on TV that the glaciers are continuously melting which is resulting in rising sea levels, this means changes in our climate patterns are now being characterized by extreme weather events. The fact that El Niño and La Niña are becoming more intense is one of the many shreds of evidence that climate change is real.

How are you taking action against climate change?

Climate Change is a global issue but solutions can be started right at the community level. There are plenty of ways we can do to fight climate change. One is to simply reduce our own carbon footprints. We can also plant more trees and advocate for change—change other people’s attitudes and be more caring towards our environment.

Photo courtesy of Lyndon Arbes


Moving Urban Poor Communities Toward Resilience (MOVE UP 4) is an urban disaster risk reduction (DRR) project which aims to build resilience among urban poor communities in Mindanao. With funding from the European Union, MOVE UP 4—also known as MOVE UP Mindanao—is implemented by a consortium of partners consisting of Action Against Hunger PhilippinesPlan International PhilippinesCARE Philippines, and their local partner ACCORD Incorporated. Read more

Launching the first Climate Outlook Forum for Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur DRR partners

MAGUINDANAO — Our disaster risk reduction (DRR) project focused on the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) launched its 1st Maguindanao & Lanao del Sur Climate Outlook Forum last September 2, 2021.

In partnership with the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), the forum was facilitated online by Action Against Hunger’s Cotabato team. Charly Jamero, the Chief Meteorological Officer for the Ministry of Science & Technology – PAGASA, serves as the key resource speaker for the said activity.

Photo by Michael Ryan Queman for Action Against Hunger

A total of 58 people participated in the virtual forum—among these were representatives from the municipal and barangay government units, along with key agencies in BARMM. Members of the People’s Organization also attended the event. Some municipalities like Datu Saudi Ampatuan, Datu Piang, and Rajah Buayan organized viewing sessions for individual participants that had limited or no internet connection in their respective households. A number of attendees who were not based in Maguindanao also joined the session.

Photo by Michael Ryan Queman for Action Against Hunger

For the activity, Ms. Jamero gave an overview of climate outlook. She then proceeded to discuss anticipated weather and climate updates in Visayas & Mindanao from September 2021 until January 2022.

“We want to level down, localize, and contextualize climate information and use it for decision-making. We hope that this climate outlook fora can be a means for our community members and decision-makers to utilize these learnings in improving our resilience-building strategies. We should be able to make an informed decision out of the climate information that we have.” Juan Blenn Huelgas, Action Against Hunger DRR Coordinator 

In a concise yet enlightening message, Juan Blenn Huelgas—current Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) Coordinator for Action Against Hunger Philippines—emphasized the importance of using the information gained from the discussion in drafting local government plans and community decision-making. “We want to level down, localize, and contextualize climate information and use it for decision-making. We hope that this climate outlook fora can be a means for our community members and decision-makers to utilize these learnings in improving our resilience-building strategies. We should be able to make an informed decision out of the climate information that we have,” he said.

Photo by Michael Ryan Queman for Action Against Hunger

Delilah Chua, Head of Base for Action Against Hunger Cotabato Field Office, also attended the virtual forum and thanked all partners, participants, and facilitators for taking part in the first round of discussion on climate outlook.

BHA-DRR / Cotabato Team (Photo courtesy of Michael Ryan Queman)

Strengthening Local Resilience and Building Capacities in Area at High Risk of Natural Hazards in BARMM, Mindanao‘ is a disaster risk reduction (DRR) project funded by the United States Agency for International Development’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (USAID-BHA) and implemented by Action Against Hunger.


Written by Michael Ryan Queman | Edited by Joyce Sandajan Read more

MOVE UP 4 featured in DILG-LGA Newsletter

Spotted: Our Moving Urban Poor Communities Toward Resilience (MOVE UP 4)—or also known as MOVE UP Mindanao Project— was featured in the 2nd Quarterly LGA Merit Newsletter!

The Local Government Academy’s (LGA) second quarterly newsletter for the year 2021 can now be accessed at the LGA website lga.gov.ph. The LGA releases monthly and quarterly newsletters showcasing its projects, programs, and activities, as well as best practices all geared towards local governance excellence.

The publications also highlight the stakeholders and partner agencies including the Local Governance Resource Centers (LGRCs), Local Government Operations Officers (LGOOs) and many more.


GRAB YOUR COPY HERE

 

 

Moving Urban Poor Communities Toward Resilience (MOVE UP 4) is an urban disaster risk reduction (DRR) project which aims to build resilience among urban poor communities in Mindanao. With funding from the European Union, MOVE UP 4—also known as MOVE UP Mindanao—is implemented by a consortium of partners consisting of Action Against Hunger PhilippinesPlan International PhilippinesCARE Philippines, and their local partner ACCORD Incorporated.

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Real Life Heroes – Roger Cabiles

Being a humanitarian worker is more than a career choice. Most of the time, it involves having a shared sentiment that anyone and everyone can help others in many different ways.

Roger Cabiles, our Head of Project and Consortium Manager for the MOVE UP Mindanao project, shares a similar perspective as he talked about the value of paying it forward.

We sat down with Roger and asked him a few questions about his role as a project implementor, team leader, and inspirational real-life hero.


What is your role in Action Against Hunger?

I ensure that the [MOVE UP 4] activities are implemented and managed well in our project areas to ensure a positive impact on the communities and the people we serve. I also lead the coordination between our consortium partners and stakeholders to ensure that we work on the same goals, we complement each other’s strengths and we provide necessary support and assistance when needed.

Signing of agreement: Four people seated side by side. The two in the middle are signing papers.

Roger Cabiles (second from the left) represents the MOVE UP 4 consortium as he signs the agreement with the local government of Cotabato Province on July 15, 2021. (Photo by MOVE UP 4 for Action Against Hunger)

How long have you been working as a humanitarian worker?

Almost a decade—from an indigenous peoples’ community in Pampanga to Typhoon Haiyan Response in Tacloban City with DSWD, then to post-conflict rehabilitation in Bangsamoro with FAO UN and now urban resilience with MOVE UP in Mindanao.

What motivated you to become a humanitarian worker?

A belief that everyone deserves a dignified life and a just society.

Why are you making this sacrifice?

I don’t really see it as a sacrifice but a shared responsibility. When someone sees poverty, inequality, and oppression, there should be no second thoughts about taking action. As for me, I know that my strengths are in managing and implementing development projects so I feel that this is my contribution to making the world a better place. Everyone has a stake in this so everyone should do their part, no matter what profession, no matter what work they do.

In photo: Roger Cabiles, Jr. shares updates on the MOVE UP 4 projects within intervention areas.

What have been the challenges to your work?

There are times you get overwhelmed with all that’s happening in the world and you feel you can’t do anything about it.

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

It is ironic that this feeling of being overwhelmed is also a motivation and a push for me. There’s a lot of work to be done and one should breathe, relax and get back to work.

When someone sees poverty, inequality, and oppression, there should be no second thoughts about taking action. Everyone has a stake in this so everyone should do their part, no matter what profession, no matter what work they do.” – Roger Cabiles, MOVE UP 4

Photo courtesy of Roger Cabiles

What are you most proud of?

I am proud when I become dispensable to a project. It means I have done my job— mentored my team well and made it more about the communities and less of us and the project. That is the measure of success for a development project—community ownership and sustaining the gains even after the project timeframe. Empowerment and sustainability are things that I am very proud of.

What climate change impact have you witnessed?

Oceans are getting warmer and warmer and typhoons are getting stronger and stronger. I have worked in post-Haiyan rehabilitation and I’ve seen its devastating impact. This will be the new normal.

How are you taking action against climate change?

Being conscious of the impact of your lifestyle and your actions on the environment as well as on vulnerable communities. But more than personal responsibility, demanding more from the private sector and the government on concrete and tangible ways to address climate change and its impact on communities especially the vulnerable ones.

 

Photo courtesy of Roger Cabiles


Moving Urban Poor Communities Toward Resilience (MOVE UP 4) is an urban disaster risk reduction (DRR) project which aims to build resilience among urban poor communities in Mindanao. With funding from the European Union, MOVE UP 4—also known as MOVE UP Mindanao—is implemented by a consortium of partners consisting of Action Against Hunger PhilippinesPlan International PhilippinesCARE Philippines, and their local partner ACCORD Incorporated.

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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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