EU assists Itogon civil society orgs, barangay execs to lessen vulnerability to disasters
MANILA, Philippines — The European Union (EU) has assisted civil society groups and barangay officials in Itogon, Benguet to lessen their vulnerability to risks and disasters.
“It is better to be prepared and pro-active rather than being reactive,” EU Ambassador Luc Véron said in a statement on Sunday.
“It is our goal to assist civil society organisations and barangay officials so that they can have a voice in disaster and climate risk governance,” he added.
During his visit to Itogon, Véron stressed the importance of building “sustainable and resilient communities.”
Véron turned over disaster and climate risk modules and early warning kits, which note the needs of people with disabilities, to Itogon’s local government officials and civil society groups.
With the EMPOWER project — or Empowering Municipalities, Barangays, Civil Society Organisations and People’s Organizations through Working Together to Enhance Disaster and Climate Risk Governance — the EU contributes to intensifying the resilience of high-risk communities and their participation in disaster risk governance.
EMPOWER, which officially began in January 2020, deploys “municipal champions for disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation, facilitating capacity-building activities where all sectors are able to learn from each other.”
The EU has allotted a P22-million grant for EMPOWER which is implemented by the Adventist Development and Relief Agency, and Humanity and Inclusion.
Nine barangays in Itogon and 23 barangays in Pinukpuk, Kalinga are covered by the initiative.
Itogon Mayor Victorio Palangdan and Barangay Tinongdan, Itogon captain Edwin Atumpay expressed appreciation for the assistance.
“Our barangay has made use of the mega-phone and other early warning devices initially given to Tinongdan most especially when we were hit by typhoon Maring,” Atumpay shared.
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