Australian Ambassador Visits RAPID Barangays in TAC

Australian Ambassador Amanda Gorely delivering her message to the Barangays 66 and 66-A community members during the program

Tacloban City , 22 Feb 2016 | Australian ambassador to the Philippines, Amanda Gorely, visited Barangays 66 and 66-A in Anibong, Tacloban City to get a picture of how the Australian Government can further assist Haiyan-affected communities in building their resilience from climate change and natural disasters.

This is the Ambassador’s first time to visit the city after the super typhoon onslaught, and the two RAPID barangays were among the few areas she visited during her stay. “It’s a pleasure to see for myself the recovery efforts that have taken place since the typhoon. I’m also impressed by the resilience and positive attitude of the people”, she said.

CCC Commissioner Noel Antonio Gaerlan was also present during the program and mentioned CCC’s plans in implementing the Rapid Results Initiatives (RRI) under its Community-based Climate and Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (CBCDRRM) efforts. “We hope that this will help strengthen the involvement of your community members in the succeeding stages of CBC/DRRM”, he said during his speech.

Amb Gorley in TAC (8)

Commissioner Gaerlan explaining NRA and ClimEx.db also going on in the RAPID areas

RAPID will soon implement the RRI and both barangays, which are located along the city’s coastline, will be among the 13 pilot communities to take part in it. RRIs are small risk reduction initiatives that the communities choose to take action on in 100 days.

The two barangay captains, Delia Bato (66-A) and Bella Saballa (66), together with 40 other community members joined the dialog with the ambassador and presented their workplans for their chosen RRI which focuses on establishing and strengthening their capacity to manage micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

According to Miss Bato, interested members of their barangays need start-up raw materials and additional knowledge and training on facilitating their own MSMEs. Developing climate-smart and sustainable livelihoods is one of RAPID’s target outputs and shall be promoted as a developmental strategy in the local governments.

Amb Gorley in TAC (1)

Ambassador Gorely and Barangay 66-A Captain, Delia Bato, with the barangay’s 4Ps recipients

Other representatives from the United Nations Development Programme and the Tacloban City government office also participated in discussing the current situation and future directions for the two barangays. Besides the RRI, Commissioner Gaerlan mentioned other RAPID activities that are currently going on including the Natural Resource Assessments and the Climate Exposure Database.

“It’s interesting to hear how the communities are willing to take part in participating and applying their local knowledge to ensure that their communities are better equipped in the future”, the ambassador. “I encourage you to continue participating in the programs.”

In 2015, RAPID has met with selected barangays, including Barangays 66 and 66-A, to set-up their RRIs by helping them learn the process of establishing and prioritizing their needs, setting the goals and objectives to solve these needs, and preparing the workplan toward its achievement. The RRI will initially be launched during the first quarter of the year.

The RAPID Program is being implemented by the Climate Change Commission as a component of Project Climate Twin Phoenix, in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme and the Australian Government. RAPID supports the long-term recovery of 12 local government units which were affected by Typhoon Haiyan, namely, Tacloban City, Palo, Tanauan, Tolosa, Dulag, Mayorga, MacArthur, Abuyog, Basey, Marabut, Lawaan, and Balangiga by strengthening capacities of communities to manage climate and disaster risks.

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