LUCENA CITY, Quezon (PIA)—Line government agencies and civic groups join hands for the 2022 Dagyaw Open Government Regional Town Hall Meeting held in Lucena City, Quezon this November 18.
Dagyaw is a participatory initiative spearheaded by the Department of the Interior and Local Government, Department of Budget and Management, Philippine Information Agency and other government agencies along with the Partnership of Philippine Support Service Agencies (PHILSSA) and Open Government Partnership promoting transparency, citizen empowerment and, public accountability through dialogue with stakeholders in CALABARZON.
The 2022 forum held at the Queen Margarette Hotel focuses on Disaster Risk Reduction and Management and is themed “Usapang Sakuna: Katatagan at Pamamahala, Katatagan at Pamamahala: CALABARZON, Handa ka na ba?” with Office of Civil Defense 4A Regional Director Maria Theresa Escolano, Greenpeace SouthEast Asia Campaigner Jefferson Chua, University of the Philippines Los Baños Vice Chancellor Roberto Cereno and, Nilambat Inc. President Felimon Buena as panelists.
Dagyaw 2022 is the first to be held onsite in CALABARZON during the pandemic while still utilizing online streaming in for a wider reach. Philhealth, Social Security System, PAG-IBIG and Philippine Statistics Authority also set up one-stop consolidated government services for participants while the PSA provided national ID biometrics capturing services in line with the onsite activity.
DILG 4A Regional Director Ariel Iglesia states during his opening remarks that while the past Dagyaw activities focused on the pandemic and full devolution, this year’s town hall meeting revolves on how local governments and constituents can recalibrate the risks brought about by calamities.
“Your mere presence in today’s activities will be the most vital components to this activity,” says Director Iglesia as he highlights the need for the public sector to converse with government for disaster preparedness and governance in general.
Director Iglesia adds that Dagyaw opens the door for participatory engagements for good governance.
OCD 4A Director Escolano presented data on recent significant typhoons from 2020 to 2022 as other possible natural disasters present in the region, such as volcanic eruptions and earthquakes among others.
Director Escolano emphasizes the need to heed government instructions in times of disasters mainly during evacuations, suspensions and preparatory measures.
“DRRM saves lives properties and our environment. DRRM is everyone’s business. It should be a way of life,” states Director Escolano as she underscores the need for both public participation for local governments to designate DRRM officers and resources.
“The government provides the systems, procedures and resources while the people provide cooperation and support,” she adds.
UP Los Baños Vice Chancellor highlights the university’s stance on future-proofing programs, activities and structures for a proactive approach against disasters including the gradual integration of DRRM subjects in some programs.
Greenpeace South East Asia campaigner Chua emphasizes a need for government and civil society alignment, especially for climate and disaster initiatives. He also notes that Dagyaw is a significant venue for the public sector’s concerns to truly reach the government.
Nilambat President Buena, representing the fisherfolk sector in the Province of Rizal, states that their group frequently coordinates with government for trainings and other initiatives and encourages other organizations to support government efforts as well.
“Hindi po lahat ng organization ay kasama sa DRRM kaya ang ang kahilingan ay maging kabalikat natin sa DRRM,” says Buena.
The latter part of the program consists of a Talakayan portion with panelists engaging onsite stakeholders and answering DRRM-related issues and concerns. (GG/PIA-4A)