At the same time, the Gawad Kalasag Special Recognition (First Place) for Best Government Emergency and Response Management Service (GEMS) in NCR was awarded to the Quezon City DRRM Office.
In his message, in behalf of all awardees, Mayor Herbert M. Bautista said that the Kalasag Awards are a good way to encourage the government and private sectors to keep improving in aiming for being the best in their disaster preparedness and resiliency programs. It is also laudable that the award categories are of a wide range, encompassing schools, hospitals and barangays. But he also wished that the categories also include shopping malls, hotels, churches of all denominations, and other such places where people frequent. He said it is important to capacitate as many institutions and individuals as possible, to ensure that all lives and properties are saved. Mayor Bautista further impressed upon the audience that governments should be resolute about preserving no-build zones in areas already known to be prone to severe flooding and other natural disasters – the aim should be to reach a point where there is no longer need to send out rescue teams, because there are no longer residents in danger areas.
In terms of disaster and resiliency programs for public elementary schools, Melencio Castelo Elementary School was awarded second place, while Barangay Sto. Cristo was awarded for having the third Best Urban Barangay DRRM Committee.NCR Regional Director Romulo Cabantac of the Office of Civil Defense and Director Amante Salvador of MMDA’s Health, Public Safety and Environmental Office led the awarding ceremonies.
Barangay Sto. Cristo