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MOVE UP 4 Mindanao strengthens support to partner communities this National Disaster Resilience Month

MOVE UP 4 reinforced the partnership with the Provincial Government of Cotabato by providing technical assistance in updating their DRRM plan during the Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Planning Workshop held last July 14-15, 2021 at Parkland Suites, Kidapawan City, North Cotabato. The workshop was conducted in line with the 2021 National Disaster Resilience Month’s theme, “Tamang Pamamahala’t Kahandaan, Kaalaman at Pagtutulungan sa Sakuna at Pandemya’y Kalasag ng Bayan.” 
Roger Cabiles, MOVE UP 4 Consortium Manager and Head of Project for Action Against Hunger Philippines, held a discussion on ‘Shock-Responsive Social Protection and Resilient Livelihoods in DRRM Planning.’ Aside from tackling the importance of supporting disaster-resilient livelihoods, the discussion also emphasized the need to have effective, responsive, and inclusive social protection for communities.
Roger Cabiles, Jr. presenting in front of the seated participant with the project area presentation flashed on an overhead television on his right.

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

The MOVE UP consortium manager also shared updates on various MOVE UP livelihood activities in Kidapawan City. Among the examples were the establishment of Community Savings Groups in addition to providing livelihood assistance to at-risk households, promoting crop insurance, and other risk transfer mechanisms.
Three representative individuals from Action Against Hunger talk with Cotabato PDRRM Officer, Abril Espadera

In photo (L-R): Lyndon Arbes (Deputy Head of Project for Action Against Hunger), Delilah Chua (Action Against Hunger Head of Iligan Base). Roger Cabiles, Jr. (MOVE UP 4 Consortium Manager & Head of Project for Action Against Hunger), and Abril Espadera (Cotabato Provincial DRRM Officer)

MOVE UP 4 Mindanao continuously supports local government units in building the resilience of our partner communities. It aims to strengthen the disaster preparedness, response, and management capacity of both the national government and local government units (LGU).

Written by: Joyce Sandajan
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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Emergency Preparedness Helps Action Against Hunger Team Escape Mt. Apo Landslide

KIDAPAWAN CITY – Twelve (12) Action Against Hunger staff members were left stranded after a landslide had blocked a part of Mt. Apo Highway last July 16, 2021. The incident was reported to have occurred sometime in the morning after a series of heavy rainfall in the area.

No casualties were reported and the staff members managed to safely go over the landslide area before the Kidapawan City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (CDRRMO) rescue vehicle arrived and assisted them back to the city proper. The staff members who experienced the ordeal were part of the MOVE UP 4 Project team in Kidapawan and visiting staff from Action Against Hunger Philippines’ Manila Head Office.

The teams were already on their way back in two separate vehicles after conducting field visits in Barangay Illomavis when they reached the roadblock caused by the landslide. Being the first to witness the scene and having no alternate routes going to the city proper, the stranded staff decided to go over the mound of debris by foot.

The landslide covered a portion of the road, making it impossible for vehicles to pass throigh.

Photo by Roger Cabiles, Jr. for Action Against Hunger

“[The situation] gave us an opportunity to reflect about humanitarian workers, that we are dispensable,” shared MOVE UP 4 Consortium Manager and Head of Project Roger Cabiles. Despite facing a predicament, the team remained calm and quickly followed emergency protocol. “Being careful is really important as well as assessing risks and hazards and knowing what to do if a disaster happens,” he added. Deputy Head of Project Lyndon Arbes then coordinated with Kidapawan CDRRMO Head Psalmer Bernalte, who facilitated the quick rescue response.

“[The situation] gave us an opportunity to reflect about humanitarian workers, that we are dispensable…Being careful is really important as well as assessing risks and hazards and knowing what to do if a disaster happens,” he added.

Photo courtesy of Kidapawan City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office

Clearing operations on the highway began immediately thereafter. According to Psalmer Bernalte, soil movements have gradually been covering portions of the highway two months earlier, prompting the city to conduct preventive measures against potential landslides.

For the MOVE UP 4 team, the experience further strengthened their commitment to work with partner LGUs and communities through disaster risk reduction, emergency response, and resilience building.

“These risks and hazards are normal to the communities we serve, and they experience it in their everyday lives… our work in building the resilience of our communities continues,” said Roger Cabiles.

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 PhilippinesPlan International PhilippinesCARE Philippines, and ACCORD Incorporated.

 

Related stories:

Philippine News Agency – Int’l NGO workers narrowly escape Mt. Apo landslide
GMA News – 12 NGO employees na naipit sa landslide, nasagip


Written by Joyce Sandajan

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.

MOVE UP 4 signs agreement with Cotabato Provincial Government

KIDAPAWAN CITY — The MOVE UP 4 Mindanao reached another milestone as the disaster risk reduction (DRR) project signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the Provincial Government of Cotabato last July 15, 2021, at the Provincial Capitol, North Cotabato. Roger Cabiles (Action Against Hunger Head of Project and Consortium Manager of MOVE UP 4) and Efren Piñol (North Cotabato Provincial Administrator) were the main signatories during the ceremony.

In photo (L-R): Delilah Chua (Action Against Hunger Head of Iligan Base). Roger Cabiles, Jr. (MOVE UP 4 Consortium Manager & Head of Project for Action Against Hunger), Efren Piñol (Cotabato Provincial Administrator), and Mercedita Foronda (PDRRMO Head)

The agreement outlines the partnership between the two parties which supports the promotion, adaptation, and replication of MOVE UP 4’s tested urban resilience strategies. Mercedita Foronda (Head of Cotabato Provincial DRRMO), Delilah Chua (Action Against Hunger Head of Cotabato Base), Lyndon Arbes (Action Against Hunger Deputy Head of Project), and Louie Bullanday (Action Against Hunger DRR Supervisor) were also present as witnesses of the ceremonial signing event.
The partnership is a leap towards achieving the project’s goal of building the resilience of urban poor communities by strengthening disaster preparedness, response, and management capacity of the national government and local government units.

Written by Joyce Sandajan   |   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.

MOVE UP 4 launches Webinar on Mainstreaming Social Protection Initiatives at the Local Level

A webinar on ‘Mainstreaming Social Protection Initiatives at the Local Level’ was launched last Thursday, June 24, which was organized by the Moving Urban Poor Communities Toward Resilience (MOVE UP) project in partnership with the Local Government Academy. The webinar was attended by almost 500 local chief executives and local government unit staff from all over the Philippines.
Roger Cabiles, Action Against Hunger Head of Project and MOVE UP 4 Consortium Manager, presented the Urban Resilience Model and Basic Concepts on Shock-Responsive Social Protection while Atty. Melchor Mergal, Municipal Mayor of Salcedo in Eastern Samar, shared the successful implementation of an Anticipatory Action in DRRM project in their municipality.

Written by Joyce Sandajan   |   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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Forming A Cash Savings Group (CSG) For Emergencies In Kidapawan City

One of the ways we empower women is through our livelihood programs. Across the communities we work with, we provide them with knowledge and proper tools to enable them to be financially resilient.

These women from Barangay Ilomavis in Kidapawan City are uniting their efforts in forming a cash savings group (CSG) for emergencies. Their barangay was one of the hardly affected barangays during the series of Mindanao Earthquakes back in 2019.

Photo by Louie Bullanday for Action Against Hunger

Following this, our MOVE UP 4 Project introduced these women to the CSG as one of the mechanisms to build financial independence and resilience for their households. Aside from the emergency funds they managed to save, they have also gained more confidence from being able to provide financial stability for their family during emergency situations like disasters or the pandemic.

We celebrate the success of these women and hope to empower more through the work that we do, one community at a time.

Written by Lyndon Arbes, Louie BullandayJoyce Sandajan
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.

Real Life Heroes – Cha Magdadaro

Charity “Cha” Magdadaro, one of our Project Assistants for our Typhoon Ulysses (Vamco) Response in Cagayan shared with us her insights as a humanitarian worker for eight years now. Get to know Cha and find out what makes her one of our Real Life Heroes.


What motivates you to become a humanitarian worker?

I started working as a humanitarian volunteer in 2013. After few involvements, I tried jobs in the industrial field, but my heart always searched for a job that works with the community. Working in this field gives me deeper satisfaction than other jobs. I witnessed a huge need of change that most communities in the Philippines need, and the small, step-by-step impact of humanitarian intervention to communities always makes a big difference.

Being able to witness children learning, mothers accepting new knowledge, and empowering the members of community – these things are priceless.

Why are you making this sacrifice?

With the challenges that the pandemic we are all facing and the calamities that heap up the burden of the vulnerable community, it is not easy to just ignore it. Humanitarian work is needed. Someone needs to do it. Someone needs to be there. I am answering the call.

What have been the challenges to your work because of the COVID-19 pandemic?

Due to budgetary constraints, we could not help all the people needing assistance. We had to be selective and narrow down our beneficiaries to the most vulnerable sector of the population.

Several of our planned activities have also been postponed due to community quarantine initiatives that the LGUs imposed. Within the community, the challenges of involving senior citizens, pregnant and lactating women and other vulnerable members of the community had been tough since they were the ones not allowed to be in social gathering, not even allowed to go out.

But then, beyond the mentioned challenges, the risk of being with a lot of people amid this pandemic is the most weighing burden I have. The heightened sense of protecting myself for the sake of my family, friends and the team is always the priority. With all the tasks I have to accomplish every day, this is a big challenge.

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

Helping the community is what drives me to keep going. Being an avenue to meet the immediate needs of the community is a fulfilling moment. 3 months after Typhoon Goni, some of our beneficiaries still live in tents in evacuation centers. The most common profile of the people we help are families with pregnant and lactating mothers do not earn a living wage and Senior Citizens with chronic ailments. Our interventions help them sustain hope despite the flooding and the pandemic that had caused them to lose so much.

The impact of the assistance I help deliver to the community outweighs the personal risks that the pandemic brings.

What are you most proud of?

I am proud of the team I am with in this emergency response. Despite the pandemic, we are still able to achieve our purpose in the community. There is always that challenge to strike the balance between taking a risk and protecting ourselves. Nonetheless, my team works hard, sacrificing things in life, just to do their job at its best.


Our Humanitarian Assistance to Typhoon Vamco-affected Communities in Region II, Philippines is funded by the European Union, and implemented by Action Against Hunger Philippines, CARE Philippines, ACCORD Incorporated, and Plan International Philippines

Rising from poverty: Action Against Hunger co-launches investment fair in Kidapawan City

ARAKAN VALLEY — Faced with the challenge of massive poverty, civil society organizations (CSOs) linked with the Arakan Valley Complex Project Management Office (AVC PMO), Action Against Hunger Philippines, and the Provincial Government of Cotabato in conducting a two-day investment fair, dubbed as the “Arakan Valley Complex and Tulunan Investment Fair” on September 19 and 20, 2019 in Kidapawan City.

Poverty incidence in North Cotabato, of which the Arakan Valley Complex and Tulunan are part, was recorded at 25.6 percent of the population, according to the Philippine Statistic Authority 2018 report.

The underlying factor of poverty in the valley is attributed to the low market price of farm produce, according to Van Cadungon, Provincial Administrator of North Cotabato. Cadungon was the keynote speaker during the opening of the investment fair.

“Farm productivity and market support programs are priority strategies that need to be implemented in the valley to address poverty,” Cadungon said.

“The investment fair resulted from a participatory planning done among the six municipalities where key development projects intended to spur economic growth in the Arakan valley were identified,” said Kerwin Jade Mallorca, the AVC PMO administrator. These projects are in the sectors of Good Governance, Agriculture, Environment, Health, Basic Social Services, Economic, Education, and Water-related Services, and Infrastructures.

The AVC Investment Fair is a two-day activity that is meant to attract social investors in the area of agriculture, trade and commerce, basic social services, and utilities into the Arakan Valley and Tulunan. The Fair incorporates project pitching, site tours, gallery display of investment opportunities, conversations, and cultural events that are intended to generate external interest in the opportunities present in the Arakan Valley and link local social entrepreneurs, governments, and people’s organizations with social investors.

“This is a breakthrough initiative because for the first time we are creating a venue for community leaders and social investors can come together and collaborate towards economic and social development,”

“This is a breakthrough initiative because for the first time we are creating a venue for community leaders and social investors can come together and collaborate towards economic and social development,” said Jules L. Benitez, Head of Project of “Reinforcing, Instituting, and Scaling Up Efficient CSO-LGU Interaction towards Enhanced Local Governance (RISE).”

Reinforcing, Instituting, and Scaling Up Efficient CSO-LGU Interaction towards Enhanced Local Governance (RISE) was funded by the European Union and implemented by Action Against Hunger.

 

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MOVE UP 4 joins Mindanao-wide Online Session about Response Strategy and Emergency Response

Mr. Lyndon Arbes (MOVE UP 4 DRR Officer) and Ms. Delilah Chua (Head of Cotabato Field Office) joined the Mindanao-wide 𝗧𝗮𝗹𝗮𝗸𝗮𝘆𝗮𝗻 𝗞𝗼𝗻𝘁𝗿𝗮 𝗖𝗢𝗩𝗜𝗗-𝟭𝟵 via zoom as resource persons.
 
With the theme, “CSO-LGU Bayanihan: Mga Aksyon sa Kalukuyang Panahon,” the online session was organized by the RESOURCEGov Project in partnership with DILG XI, XII, and XIII, and the RTF-COVID19 & RIATF-EID XII. The activity supports the Listong Ugnayan, COVIUD-19 ay Labanan Online Talakayan Series rolled out by the DILG Philippines through the Local Government Academy (LGA).
 
During the session, Mr. Arbes and Ms. Chua shared Action Against Hunger’s COVID-Response Strategy and MOVE UP COVID Response activities implemented along with other consortium partners in the cities of Marawi, Iligan, Cagayan de Oro, Surigao, and the provinces of Misamis Oriental, Bukidnon, Surigao, and Cotabato.

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 PhilippinesPlan International PhilippinesCARE Philippines, and ACCORD Incorporated.


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.

Real Life Heroes: Nora Landas

Last week, we sat down with Nora Landas, one of our Real-Life Heroes from Barangay Ilomavis, Kidapawan City. Nora shares the struggles of living in an evacuation site and the anxiety and stress that came along with them.
 
“It is never easy to live in tents. You’re not able to do the things you used to do, and it’s really a different feeling comparted to being in the comfort of your own home,” says Nora.
“How long are we going to be like this?” is a usual sentiment of mothers, young adults, and even children who are living in evacuation and transitory sites. Not only have their lives have changed due to the Mindanao earthquakes, the pandemic has worsened the situation ever since social activities in the sites have been limited.

(Photo by Debbie Olivo for Action Against Hunger)

 

It wasn’t until Nora and her fellow volunteers applied mental health and psychosocial (MHPSS) care practices that insights in the community started becoming more positive. “The PSS sessions conducted in our respective assigned areas rekindled the social involvement between members of the community.” People appreciated the things they’ve learned from the sessions while at the same time enjoying the company of other parents and adults.

(Photo by Debbie Olivo for Action Against Hunger)

Together with our Earthquake Response Team, volunteers also provided the participants with education and information on nutrition & health.

Nora and her fellow volunteers were trained on a series of community-based PSS Sessions conducted last February by Action Against Hunger Philippines and funded by the European Union. The activity aimed to give equal importance to mental and social health among internally displaced persons (IDPs).

Life-saving Humanitarian Assistance to People Affected by the Mindanao Earthquake is funded by the European Union, and implemented by Action Against Hunger Philippines, CARE Philippines, and ACCORD Incorporated.


Written by Debbie Olivo.

A Series of Orientations for Disaster Preparedness and Resilience Building in Barangay Ilomavis, Kidapawan City

A series of orientations was conducted in Barangay Ilomavis, Kidapawan City last July 29 and 30, 2020. The participants were members of 64 vulnerable households who were displaced due to the November 2019 earthquake and are currently more at risk because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Photo by Lyndon Arbes for Action Against Hunger

The activity was launched to help raise awareness on the importance of disaster preparedness and resilience building, learning from the recent series of actual disasters and the effects of the pandemic that they experienced which had negatively affected their livelihoods and living condition. The activity was conducted in partnership with the City Government of Kidapawan City Agricultural Office, and the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation Office in Kidapawan City.

Photo by Lyndon Arbes for Action Against Hunger

Written by Joyce Sandajan
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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