The Philippine Red Cross and German Red Cross will be implementing a 3-year project, entitled: "Empowering the Philippine Institutions and Communities in Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (EPIC DRRM) Project Phase III". The project is an initiative funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), which aims to strengthen the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) system in the Philippines.
The Local Government Units (LGUs) of Cabangan and San Felipe were the municipalities in the Province of Zambales selected to benefit from the EPIC DRRM Project. Five target barangays in each LGU are Barangays Mabanglit, San Rafael, Cadmang, San Isidro, and Casabaan in Cabangan and Barangays Apostol, Maloma, Rosete, Sindol and Sto. Niňo in San Felipe.
To jumpstart, the Philippine Red Cross Zambales Chapter facilitated the kick-off meeting on June 11, 2020 to discuss the project objectives and the roles of the partner agencies. It was participated in by Provincial Administrator Jun Omar Ebdane, DILG Zambales, Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) and Department of Education (DepEd) representatives.
Roll-out meetings in the Municipalities of Cabangan and San Felipe were held on June 15 and June 16, 2020, respectively. These were participated in by the different local functionaries including Municipal DRRM Officers (MDRRMOs), Municipal Planning and Development Coordinators (MPDCs), and Municipal Social Welfare and Development Officers (MSWDOs) together with the Municipal Local Government Operations Officers (MLGOOs).
Meetings with the concerned Punong Barangays were likewise conducted to discuss the project background, its goal and objectives, as well as the upcoming activities to be conducted within the 3-year duration of the project.
According to Ms. Maria Elizabeth J. Ednave-Tovera, PRC- Zambales Chapter Coordinator, active collaboration among the municipal government and barangays infused with support from the national government agencies will be the main keys to the successful implementation of the project. She also said that as one of the stakeholders, the DILG's oversight function over LGUs will be crucial in this project especially in ensuring their compliance to the national laws and policies on DRRM and in promoting community resilience.