By Chito Chavez
For the second consecutive year, Quezon City has been adjudged as the best in disaster preparedness and management in the National Capital Region (NCR).
The results of the months long assessment for the most coveted award among emergency response managers were announced by Major General Romulo M. Cabantac Jr., regional director of the Office of Civil Defense and senior vice chairman of the Metro Manila Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.
“We congratulate Quezon City for bagging the title for the 2017 Regional Gawad Kalasag winner for Best City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (Highly Urbanized City category). As first placer, you will be the NCR representative to the National Gawad Kalasag,” Cabantac said.
Mayor Herbert Bautista, who is on official mission to Japan, expressed elation over the award.
“When we won the award last year, it was more of a reward for the hard work that we placed into making our investment in public safety work. Winning the award again this year is a validation that we’re definitely on the right track in making Quezon City a resilient city,” Bautista said.
San Juan City and Parañaque City placed second and third, respectively, in the Metro Manila search.
Quezon City’s Rescue Unit, the action component of the DRRM Office, placed second in the competition for the Best Government Emergency Management Service (Advance Urban GEMS category) while Barangay Sto. Cristo was again named the Best Barangay DRRM Committee (Urban barangay category).
The barangay also won the competition in 2016.
Two other Quezon City-based institutions will receive Gawad Kalasag citations for topping their respective categories.
Melencio Castelo Elementary School topped the Best Public School search while the National Children’s Hospital placed first in the Best Hospital (Specialty Hospital category).
The Gawad Kalasag NCR awards will be given in a ceremony on July 31 at the Novotel Manila in Quezon City.
Quezon City placed first in the Gawad Kalasag NCR competition in 2016 and emerged 3rd in the national competition that followed.
The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) through the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) holds the annual Gawad Kalasag as the principal mechanism by which the national government advances awareness of the best practices of DRRM and humanitarian response and action .
As the country’s premier awards for outstanding contribution in the fields of disaster risk reduction and management and humanitarian assistance, Gawad Kalasag aims to appreciate individuals, groups or institutions which have shown extraordinary courage, heroism and sacrifice in times of emergencies, be it natural or human-induced.
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