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On July 02, 2014, local government units in Nueva Ecija unite to observe National Disaster Consciousness Month with the theme “Kahandaan at Kaligtasan ng Pamayanan, Pundasyon ng Kaunlaran” through the conduct of simultaneous earthquake drill. More than just compliance, LGUs willingly obeyed because they are aware that no one really knows when, where and what kind of disaster will happen. It chooses no one to spare so it is best to be prepared at all times.

   Various LGUs, together with PNP, BFP, DILG and other concerned agencies, held programs followed by the simulation of an earthquake. Participants (either office employees or students and teachers) were taught what to do and how to react during such incident. Other LGUs also conducted fire drill.

   In line with the celebration of the National Disaster Consciousness Month, LGUs, for the whole month of July, will be conducting series of Information and Education Campaign on disaster preparedness in schools and barangays in the entire province.

   ARD Pascua confirmed the resignation of Hon. Ubaldino Lacurom, Mayor of the Municipality of Nampicuan, effective on July 01, 2014. In Mayor Lacurom’s letter to Gov. Aurelio M. Umali, his resignation was apparently impelled by his health stature as he was afflicted with mild stroke in August 2008 and underwent angioplasty in 2011. His daughter, Vice Mayor Cora L. Villanueva, will take over his position and First Councilor Marlou P. Gamboa will sit as the Vice Mayor in furtherance with the rule of succession.

   Director Pascua also gave updates on Grassroots Participatory Budgeting, formerly known as Bottom-Up Budgeting. He stated that the Province of Nueva Ecija was selected from Region III to be one among the ten pilot provinces in the country in setting up a Secretariat relative to the on-going implementation of Grassroots Participatory Budgeting Process. The provincial secretariat will provide a venue where CSOs, basic sectors and LGU representatives could meet and discuss innovative ideas on how to make GB work, tresh out problems encountered in the implementation of GB, brainstorm on how to scale up interventions that address poverty reduction and come to an agreement on how CSOs and LGUs can work hand in hand in attaining the objectives of GB. For 2015, all the 32 LGUs in the province are part of the GB process.

   When asked about the preparations for this rainy season, ARD Pascua, being the Co-Chairman of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC), stated that the PDRRMC conducted an initial meeting last March 27, 2014. In this meeting, the council was able to come up with plans and strategies on the utilization of the 5% Calamity Fund of the province. He also announced that the province is ready for the rainy season together with the disaster equipment given by the DILG-AECID. He proudly shared to the mediamen that the province has now a Water Treatment Truck, which is temporarily kept at the Humanitarian Response Depot, Air Force City, Clark, Pampanga.

   At exactly 8:30 PM on March 29, 2014, DILG Nueva Ecija turned off all its lights in support of the Earth Hour 2014. While a skeletal team reported for work to monitor progress of the on-going Synchronized Barangay Assembly Day (SBAD) conducts in all barangays of the province, Provincial Director Abraham A. Pascua, Ph. D., CESO III who was out on the field, diligently reminded the team to observe the said activity.

   DILG – NE is one with the world in hoping that with this effort, no matter how small it may seem, it will create an impact that will benefit our environment.

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