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4 barangays win in Pampanga’s 1st search for best disaster risk reduction practices

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CITY OF SAN FERNANDO — For their innovative practices in addressing calamities, four Pampanga barangays were hailed as winners in the province’s first search for the best Barangay DIsaster Risk Reduction and Management Councils.

Riverside Barangay Sto. Cristo, Guagua solely funded and built an evacuation center that has four toilets and a separate kitchen that can accommodate 50-70 families. The village has also accumulated tools for search and rescue, a mini-fire truck, three water pumps and trained several residents in rescue works.

Barangay Capalangan in Apalit town converted two government-owned vehicles into an ambulance and a mini-tuck. It also installed a village-wide CCTV and a public address system. The small firetruck is able to navigate narrow streets.

Barangay Sta. Lucia in Sta. Ana was cited for the creation of a 15-person team that volunteers for basic life support work, managing traffic, clean-up drives and other activities.

Masantol town’s Barangay Nigui, located at end of the Pampanga River, built a floating evacuation center in partnership with the local government led by Mayor Danilo Guintu and the Center for Emergency Aid, Rehabilitation and Development (Concern). It can house 10 families, harvest and filter rainwater for potable water supply, and is fitted with solar panels and a toilet. It has a separate garden for growing vegetables.

Speaking before more than 6,000 village leaders from 505 barangays, at the awarding rites held at the Bren Z. Guiao Convention Center here Tuesday, Gov. Dennis “Delta” Pineda said the contest is one way to motivate local councils.

“You are all frontline organizations in our campaigns against crimes, illegal drugs, disasters, terrorism and other threats to our peace, order and health,” Pineda said.

Pineda thanked the barangay chiefs for a zero-death record during the 6.2 earthquake last April 24 and floods caused by high tide and typhoon.

The governor said Pampanga has stepped up its efforts in public safety by constructing a command center that operates 24/7, installing plastic colored plates as codes to prioritize people with disability, pregnant women and young children.

The center will also run “disas-tours” to show the resilience of people who survived calamities, said Angelina Blanco, Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office chief.

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