The Department of the Interior and Local Government, through its Regional Office No. 3 under the stewardship of RD Florida M. Dijan in coordination with DENR-MGB 3, OCD 3 and the various attached Service Agencies of DOST, spearheaded the conduct of the Pilot Testing of the proposed Training for LGUs on Understanding Multi-Hazard Maps, their Usage and Application in Local Development Planning on May 23, 2013 at Brgy. Poblacion, Calumpit, Bulacan.

    The participants of the Pilot Testing were the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Management Officer (MDRRMO) of Calumpit, the Punong Barangays, Brgy. Secretaries and Brgy. Disaster Risk Reduction Management Officers (BDRRMOs) of three flood prone Barangays of Calumpit, Bulacan namely; Barangay Gatbuca; Sapang Bayan; and Frances.  The pilot test was observed by the DILG Regional DRRM Focal Persons of Regions I, II, IV-A, IV-B, V, CAR and NCR which will replicate the same.

    When finalized, the training is set to target flood prone LGUs along the 18 Major River Basin in the Philippines.  Modules of the training include the current practices on DRRM, Early Warning System, Understanding Different Hydrologic Hazards and the Basic Reading of Geo-Hazard and LiDAR or “Light Detection And Ranging” Maps.

    The activity aims to increase the level of awareness of LGUs on the utility and application of Multi-Hazard maps in mitigating and managing natural hazards. Its expected outputs are (1.) updated Barangay Hazard Map (2.) an institutionalized effective and efficient early warning system (3.) integrated risk information in local development planning (4.) increased investments in improving critical infrastructures and (5.) trained communities that pro-active, adaptive and resilient to the risk and impacts of hazards.

    The Concurrent-Assistant Regional Director of DILG Region 3 and PD of DILG Nueva Ecija, Dir. Abraham A. Pascua, gave the opening message and rationale of the activity. In his message, he commended the Calumpiteños for their resilience during calamities and acknowledged their rich experience that would greatly contribute to the development of the proposed training.  Lastly, he said that with contributed efforts, we can surpass the challenges of calamities.

     Experts from agencies involved were tapped to act as Resource persons namely: Mr. Michael Dumlao, Operations Officer from OCD 3; Mr. Hilton Hernando, Senior Weather Specialist from DOST-PAGASA; Mr. Noel B. Lacadin, Chief Geologist of DENR-MGB3; and Mr. Ken Adrian Aracan from DOST-Project NOAH.

    Dir. Florida M. Dijan, DILG R3 Regional Director acknowledged the feedbacks and impression given by the participants. She assured them that their comments and suggestions are well noted in the development of the training. She also expressed her gratitude to all the resource speakers, especially for heeding her request to “laymanized” their approach so that the target Barangay participants will better understand the topics.  
She said that with correct and timely information and knowledge on disaster, we can prevent or minimize the effects of hazards to the community.

    The activity was culminated by the giving of the Certificate of Appreciation to Mayor James P. De Jesus, received by Mayor-Elect Jesus P. De Jesus and Municipal Administrator Jojo Tomas and the awarding of Certificate of Participation to the training participants.