The ACTION Center or Adaptive Capacity-building and Technology Innovation for Occupational Hazards and Natural Disasters Center of Batangas State University (BatStateU) in collaboration with Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) and National University of Kaohsiung, Taiwan (NUK) hosted the 2018 ASEAN Conference and Exposition on Disaster Risk Management and Climate Change Adaptation (ACEDRMCCA) on July 25-27, 2018 at BatStateU Pablo Borbon Main I, Batangas City, Batangas, Philippines.
DRM officials, personnel, researchers and academicians convened to explore the recent developments, pragmatic solutions, and effective application of science and technology innovations in climate change adaptation and disaster preparedness and response.
The international conference which bears the theme, “Converging with the ASEAN Community in Managing Disaster Risks and Climate Change for a Resilient Community” was held in line with the celebration of National Disaster Resilience Month.
“It doesn’t matter from which part of the world we come from. All of us have a certain level of vulnerability to disaster which has been exacerbated by the massive effects of climate change. We are required to thrive in 21st century environments which are highly driven by innovation and collaboration. Together, we are bound to revolutionize and create a positive impact for social transformation and most importantly, an increase of awareness and preparedness relative to disaster scenarios” said BatStateU President Dr. Tirso A. Ronquillo in his welcome remarks.
Usec. Ricardo B. Jalad of the Department of National Defense served as the keynote speaker. “The changing landscape of disaster risk reduction across the globe demands that public servants, academians, and DRM practitioners & professionals stay up to date with the latest trends and innovations in this field (DRMCCA)”, the undersecretary expressed as he encouraged the participants to make the most out of the activity to make greater contributions to DRMCCA.
Hon. Hermilando “Dodo” I. Mandanas, Governor of the Province of Batangas and Atty. Victor Reginald Dimacuha, Batangas City Mayor Beverley Rose A. Dimacuha’s representative, both shared their commitment to BatStateU during the official launching of Disaster Risk Education for Adaptation and Mitigation (DREAM) Academy.
Meanwhile, DRMCCA experts from local and international agencies/ institutions graced the panel and plenary sessions during the three-day event. These experts include Usec. Renato Solidum of DRR and Climate Change Department of Science and Technology; Sec. Emmanuel M. De Guzman of Climate Change Commission; Assoc. Prof. Min-Hao Wu of NUK; Dr. Nor Eliza Alias of UTM; Mr. Takanori Zemmoto of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA); Mr. Julius Hontiveros of the Office of Civil Defense (OCD); Prof. Chien-Yuan Chen of National Chiayi University, Taiwan; Dr. Zulkifli Yusof of UTM; Prof. Hsing-Lung Lien of NUK; Prof. Azlan Adnan of UTM; Dr. Emelia B. Santamaria of the National Institute of Health, University of the Philippines- Manila; Ms. Josefina T. Persil of OCD; Executive Secretary I-Chuan Liu of Kaohsiung City Government; and Lt. Kol. Mohamad Fazli Sardi of UTM.
OCD Region IV-A Director Olivia M. Luces, Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Region IV-A Director Alexander R. Madrigal, National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Region IV-A Director Luis G. Banua, Batangas City PNP Chief PSupt. Sancho Celedio, PDRRMO Head Joselito M. Castro, and Gen. Ramon Santos from the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace Process also graced the event.
Further, the conference also held a mass shooting simulation exercise in cooperation with the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (PDRRMO), City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (CDRRMO), Philippine National Police (PNP) and members of the Special Weapons and Tactics (S.W.A.T) team, Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), Philippine Red Cross (PRC), Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), and Public Information Office (PIO). The emergency response demonstration was held at the BatStateU Pablo Borbon Main I grounds participated by BatStateU BS Criminology students.
In an interview conducted after the simulation exercise, CDRRMO Head Mr. Rodrigo Dela Roca shared that the drill helps to spread awareness on how to properly respond to such incident. He also mentioned that Mayor Dimacuha has plans in providing trainings for DRM professionals within the city.
At the end of the program, a statement of commitment was signed by President Ronquillo and representatives from OCD, Kaohsiung City Government and UTM. The statement signifies their commitment in building a disaster resilient community.