Disaster rescue training for IDPs coastal communities PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 01 September 2015 10:27

I am sure most of us are all relieved and glad that the people living coastal areas and who were affected by the infamous 2013 Zamboanga siege are now back where they feel they belong.  Described as Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) due to the conflict, let’s hope that in due time they can have a better future in this place they call their own home.

What concerns really now governments and people around the world is the unpredictable climate change. High sea temperature and strong typhoon can flood and wipe out coastal communities. What will our local IDPs do if the dreaded tsunami strikes in these places (God forbids)? Are they prepared?

Here’s the good Pep Talk news. The Integrated Development Resource Development for Tri-People (IRDT) together with the Office of the Civil Defense, ACF an international NGO,  DOTC, PAGASA, PhilVocs, Bureau of Fire and Protection, the Philippine Navy and Philippine Coastguard conducted a survival training for IDPs from Mampang and Buggoc, coastal barangays in  Zamboanga City, last August 17 to 21.

The training, Water Search and Rescue (WSAR) with Radio Handling Operations Training for IDPs, was held at different places - Paseo del Mar, Western Mindanao Command, and Naval Beach for 21 IDPs participants in 5 days.

According to IRDT, the live-in training utilized actual participatory approach trainings and practical applications of survival theories. It was conducted by licensed resource persons and trainers.

IDP participant Derna Lakibul from Mampang and a single mother of three (3) described her experience. "I am happy that I have joined, although it is tiring. You know that at the end of the day, you will learn some new things, and it is a very good experience. And as a single mom, I will be able to protect my children from harm and danger when natural disasters happen.” Among the activities the group did were proper rescuing, diving, swimming, and other exhausting physical activities together with personnel from the Philippine Navy.

In his Inspirational message, PLAN International Philippines and National Program Unit Manager Jayson Lozano encouraged the IDP participants to be responsible and be ready to help when disasters happen.  "It takes a village to have a resilient community. Masepla and Buggoc community is too many and we have only selected some of you. We want to see  that you can apply what you have learned and be willing to help others too,” he elaborated.

Lozano was delighted to note that most of the women participants are also mothers. He pointed out that the training is not only about community rescue. It gives emphasis on family protection especially for the children. “This training is given to you because we want you to be safe along with your family most especially for the protection of your children," he reiterated.

This noble program was funded by ECHO a European Commission's Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection Department of the European Union (E.U), the second largest donor of Europe on humanitarian assistance.

Pictures (collate): Water Search and Rescue (WSAR) with Radio Handling Operations Training for IDPs (Internally Displaced Persons) of Zamboanga


By Dante Corteza

“Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it ……builds a house on solid rock.” (Matthew 7:24)