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Institutionalizing Move Up Interventions

“Our number one vulnerability is that we have low income communities which are directly affected by high risk areas,” Valenzuela City Disaster Risk Reduction Management (DRRM) Officer, Dr. Arnaldo Antonio shares

“They are usually the ones with low coping capacity to improve their households and have some sort of disaster preparedness in their family. They would only rely on the assistance given to them by the government for their recovery. That is before Move Up Project came in to present their programs.”

“Their focus was Alternative Temporary Shelter (ATS), livelihood, and risk transfer mechanism. Our office already has a lot of concerns to attend to and although we done activities to enhance our capacities, these three items always gets left out of the priorities. It seemed that Move Up Project had read our minds and knew exactly what we needed at that time,” Dr. Arnaldo adds.

Although it has always been the target of their existing programs, it has been a challenge for them to reach the grassroots. “With Move Up Project, we managed to reach the community itself, those who are in the high risk areas, the most vulnerable, and the most who would benefit the project,” Dr. Arnaldo says, “the seminars they held were really fruitful, thanks to the resource speakers brought here because the expertise they have for the different programs are so helpful.”

“We were also able to involve not just the DRRM Office, but also other offices such as livelihood, employment, social welfare, and cooperatives. All of these offices have its own programs in place before,” Dr. Arnaldo explains, “but what happened after Move Up Project was we were able to consolidate our efforts and have a well-coordinated activities to increase the capacity of communities to face disaster and become more resilient. We were able to empower the barangays that at their own capacity, they already have some means of mitigating and planning before a disaster.”

Their learnings and successes from Move Up Project has led to a release of an Executive Order from the City Government of Valenzuela, to acquire micro insurances for families who are most vulnerable in the high risk areas. “We are still in the process of procuring these policies and we are making sure to iron out the challenges,” Dr. Arnaldo says.

“In the future, our programs would be more inclusive involving different sectors like the PWDs, the youth, religious sector, private organizations, and civil society organizations to work in partnership with them in making more communities resilient and prepared,” Dr. Arnaldo says as he shares some of his vision for a more resilient Valenzuela. “Hopefully soon, we will be able to institutionalize this technical working group we put up to harmonize all the different offices with the goal of resiliency among the community.”

“In the future, we would want to make our programs holistic. After building up with the three primary concerns I have mentioned earlier at our level, we plan to fully roll the program out at the barangay level, and build a closer relationship with them. In order for disaster preparedness to be successful everyone should get involved,” Dr. Arnaldo says as a final note.