Aiming to reduce all forms of vulnerability
Left: Amalia Torquator of San Vicente, Gigmoto, Catanduanes, one of the 50 CCAM-RRP beneficiaries in the municipality standing next to her newly-planted abaca suckers. Right: One of the abaca rehabilitation sites with planted abaca suckers during the monitoring visit last September 2022
Disaster risk mitigation can be done in various manners. In most cases, structural mitigation projects, training, and environmental rehabilitation and preservation are implemented by agencies to reduce risk to communities. Addressing economic vulnerability along with physical risk is a sustainable approach to disaster risk reduction as it benefits both the environment and the people.
DSWD in disaster risk mitigation
The Department of Social Welfare and Development serves as disaster response cluster lead as mandated by RA 10121. Aside from the agency’s comprehensive response programs and services, DSWD recognizes that improved disaster prevention and mitigation decreases impacts of hazards to the vulnerable population.
Risk Resiliency Program-Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation (RRP-CCAM) is a program implemented by the Department of Social Welfare and Development to mitigate the impacts of hazards and climate change while providing additional income to the beneficiaries. Under RRP-CCAM, beneficiaries are paid to implement mitigation projects which were conceptualized through consultation with community members and leaders. The program utilizes Cash-for-Work mechanism in providing assistance to hazard-prone communities while supporting their mitigation projects.
Pilot implementation in Catanduanes
The RRP-CCAM was piloted last September in Catanduanes. The Municipality of Gigmoto proposed an abaca rehabilitation project to support the livelihood of their residents while preserving their forestland. Abaca is one of the primary products of Catanduanes. In fact, the province was hailed as the abaca capital of the Philippines due to its status as the largest abaca producer in the country.
The Municipal Social Welfare Office (MSWDO) identified 50 residents to participate in the project. The beneficiaries planted 1,000 abaca suckers covering a total of 7 hectares of land. Amalia Torquator is a 55 year old housekeeper who took part in the project. According to her, the project will benefit residents like her who do not have a permanent income source.
Aside from the cash-for-work benefits, the program aims to implement sustainable projects which will benefit the community in the long run like mangrove and abaca rehabilitation. Environmental preservation and livelihood support are integral in reducing risk. Capacitating communities with available income sources and a sustainable environment reduces their risk from disasters.