In an effort to improve community resilience and level of disaster preparedness of city residents, the City Government of Muntinlupa formally inaugurated its Mobile Learning Hub, the first innovative roving ‘learning bus’ in Metro Manila designed teach disaster resilience.
Mayor Jaime Fresnedi, Congressman Ruffy Biazon, and other local officials inaugurated the Department of Disaster Resilience and Management (DDRM) Mobile Learning Hub during the City Government’s first flag raising ceremony yesterday.
The learning bus is equipped with state-of-the-art Virtual Reality area where residents can wear VR headsets to experience being in ‘close-to-actual’ scenarios of disasters including earthquakes, flooding, storm surge, bomb explosion, chemical poisoning, volcanic eruption, tsunami, and landslide.
The VR facility aims to provide immersive, visual and sound-based experience of weather disturbances and calamities and to train residents on disaster response.
Further, the DDRM Mobile Learning Hub has an interactive Lecture Area with informative videos on COVID-19 Protective Measures, Disaster Prevention, Mitigation and Preparedness, First Aid Response and Management, and Basic Life Support, among others.
Muntinlupa City DDRM chief Erwin Alfonso says the Mobile Learning Hub targets to mainstream disaster mitigation, adaptation, and resiliency by bringing learning resources to communities and vulnerable sectors.
Alfonso added that as the Learning Hub is expected to visit several communities during the time of the pandemic, health and safety protocols will be strictly implemented and regular disinfection of the facility will be conducted. MCDDRM is yet to release the schedule of the Mobile Learning Hub through their Facebook Page.
Mayor Fresnedi hopes that the Mobile Learning Hub will empower Muntinlupeños to become well-prepared on disasters and calamities and to enhance their level of preparedness and awareness on climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction.
Recently, the local disaster response department also installed early warning system across the city to inform communities in a timely manner about typhoon signal warnings, severe flooding, and earthquakes, among others.
Muntinlupa City has been named Rank 1 in the Resilience Pillar – Highly Urbanized Cities category of the 2020 Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Index organized by the Department of Trade and Industry and National Competitiveness Council. The city bested at least 145 LGUs in the country and was followed by Valenzuela City (Rank 2) and Manila City (Rank 3).
As of January 3, Muntinlupa City has 54 active cases, 5,126 confirmed cases with 4,905 recoveries, 167 reported deaths, 22 suspect cases, and 138 probable cases.
The above information was provided by the City Government of Muntinlupa for the purpose of public information and transparency. Some parts were edited for this website.
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As Typhoon Rolly continues to intensify while moving westward towards Luzon, Muntinlupa City Mayor Jaime Fresnedi convened the Local Disaster Risk Response and Management (LDRRM) to discuss the City Government’s preparation and response efforts.
Today Mayor Fresnedi presided the LDRRM council and ordered barangay chairmen to prepare for preemptive evacuation and implement disaster risk response protocols. He also ordered the city and barangay risk reduction and management teams to be put on red-alert. The local exec also urged the public to inspect their houses and have necessary reinforcements especially in their roofs as Typhoon Rolly is expected to bring strong winds.
“Maging handa po tayo sa parating na bagyo dahil mas malakas po ito sa nauna. Dapat ay maging seryoso tayo sa paghahanda,” Fresnedi said.
According to the latest forecast track of DOST-PAGASA, the center of the eye of Typhoon Rolly is likely to make landfall over the Aurora-Quezon area on Sunday evening or Monday early morning.
The typhoon is forecasted to continuously intensify over the Philippine Sea and is likely to make landfall at peak intensity of 175-185 km/h. Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal 3-4 is expected to be raised in Metro Manila.
Already the City Government is preparing for the prepositioning of emergency response resources and equipment such as rescue boats, generators, emergency vehicles, search and rescue equipment, among others.
Pruning of trees at dangerous areas are also being prepared by the local environmental sanitation center. Construction sites are set to be inspected to ensure safety precautions on “cranes” and “construction booms” while billboards in the city will be rolled up this weekend.
As of October 30, the Muntinlupa City Department of Disaster Risk Resilience and Management Department (MCDRRM) recorded the water level in Laguna de Bay at 1.61 meters (normal). The warning level is from 4.5 to 6.75 meters and above. MCDRRM has coordinated with the Philippine Coast Guard for monitoring in Laguna de Bay.
MCDRRM advised the public to be vigilant and monitor advisories from PAG-ASA and the City Government.
Recently, the local disaster response department installed early warning system across the city to inform communities in a timely manner about typhoon signal warnings, severe flooding, and earthquakes, among others.
For emergency concerns, the public may reach the city’s hotline at 137-175.
Latest City Government of Muntinlupa details sourced from their official media release. Some parts were edited for this website.
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Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from New Life Community Care by means of an interview and research. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.
New Life Community Care Feeds and Assists Taal Volcano Eruption Victims
It was there where the NLCOM’s very own mobile kitchen was set up. With precision, careful management of resources and dedication to help the evacuees, the team behind the mobile kitchen produced several hot meals daily during the nine days feeding a whole lot of evacuees who had no choice but to leave their respective communities behind.
According to NLCOM’s program assistant Thessa Joy Jimenez, a total of 52,000 hot meals were served to the evacuees who came from varied communities affected by the January 12 eruption. Mathematically, the mobile kitchen produced an average of more than 5,600 meals per day (breakfast and dinner specifically). This was made possible by having the sophisticated food preparation equipment and sufficient supplies of food and ingredients collected from their donors. The feeding is just one form of NLCOM’s assistance for the evacuees.
Along the way, their team coordinated closely with the local authorities and helped keep things in order. Their assistance to the evacuees was not limited to feeding as they also provided them with hygiene kits, grocery bags and medical services. They also interacted closely with the local community members with a strong focus on helping. These recent acts were in accordance to the NLCOM’s core approach of Respond-Reach Out-Rebuild.
“During calamities, we organized training for the congregants and the volunteers involved in our foundation. We reached out by doing relief operations, medical missions and the mobile kitchen operation to help those who got affected. We rebuild by means of doing livelihood assistance for them,” Jimenez said during my interview with her at their office.
Behind the scenes, NLCOM responded quickly to the eruption by communicating first with the local authorities in Batangas. At their facility inside Alabang Hills Village, their team organized a huge collection of relief goods and cash from their donors (including churches within New Life’s own network), carefully arranged all the relief goods (which include the sleeping mats, blankets and water to name some) in a very orderly fashion, and piled up all the needed supplies before making the long trips to Batangas. Their team was led by their Executive Director Edwin Tugano.
“Our initial plan for the Taal Volcano eruption operation was to operate for three days which was followed by an extension of two days. This was in response to the local authorities’ request for more assistance,” Jimenez said. “Shortly after, our operation became seven days all of which were in Bauan. After that, our team rested and eventually returned to Batangas to serve other barangays in different evacuation areas for two days. Breakfast meals were provided during those two days.”
Ultimately, the volcano eruption victims were happy with all the assistance they received. Jimenez recalled that after the seventh day, the victims were very thankful to NLCOM and there were some who verbally expressed their love to them.
“They were very thankful and we could tell through their personal expressions and their hugs to us,” she said. “We really saw the positive impact we made to them. It was all a very heartwarming experience for us all. Tiring but very fulfilling.”
Regarding NLCOM’s volunteers, Jimenez said that they consistently orient them with disaster preparedness methods, group assistance and working closely with the victims and local authorities. Then on February 19, NLCOM completed another distribution of relief goods for Taal Volcano eruption victims (four hundred families) in Barangay Barigon, Agoncillo, Batangas. They assessed the homes that were damaged (partially or totally) from the disaster.
To date, New Life Community Care continues to engage with its partners, its own network of churches and outreach units, and the varied local authorities around the nation. For the future, Jimenez confirmed to me that NLCOM is continuing its preparation of provisions for further emergency operations as well as maintaining contact with varied authorities and planning what could be the next step to take for future assistance.
Truly New Life Community Care lives up to its name and has an undeniable record of assistance for those who badly need it.
What is New Life Community Care?
New Life Community Care is a foundation, operating exclusively for charitable and social welfare purposes. While associated with New Life Alabang, it is separate and has an independent board.
New Life Community Care is a non-stock, non-profit organization registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) with registration number CN200323699. It is also registered with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) with registration number DSWD-SB-RL-001582015. Their website is at www.nlcom.org.ph
How Did It Start?
It began in 2003 when their Senior Pastor Paul Chase was led to respond to the needs of street children who were abandoned and neglected. The NLCOM eventually partnered with the City Government of Muntinlupa to take care of the said children.
Ten years later, super typhoon Yolanda (internationally referred to as Haiyan) overwhelmed the Philippines very hard, especially the regions south of Luzon. Tacloban City in the province of Leyte got hit so hard, people lost their homes and belongings, their lives got terribly disrupted and there were several casualties. The damage was so immense, Tacloban caught the attention of the whole world.
In response to the disaster, Senior Pastor Paul Chase and some volunteers of the church came to Tacloban to provide much needed help. This resulted the creation of a makeshift kitchen at the said city and went on to produce six thousand hot meals daily for school children there.
You must be wondering: how was New Life’s team able to create such a high number of meals every day back then? The answer is this: New Life Alabang partnered with Rev. Kim Beam Kon of Truly Good Friends Foundation from South Korea. The joint effort resulted a feeding program that lasted for a year and led to the establishment of the New Life Community Care Foundation.
Along the way, Senior Pastor Paul Chase envisioned the local church to stand in the gap, step up to meet the need and demonstrate God’s love by responding, reaching out and rebuilding the lives of families and communities in the event of disasters. In times of disaster, New Life church provides manpower to NLCOM to enable it to assist victims.
The Foundation’s program is structured this way: Respond to the immediate needs of disaster victims by providing food, relief goods, medical services and executing rescue operations. Reach out with their pro-active volunteers who engage in raising awareness and increasing the knowledge and skills of families, churches and communities on preparing them for disasters and teaching them how to respond during those times. Rebuild by helping the victims by means of clearing the debris, providing shelter kit materials and assisting families and the local communities in the repair and reconstruction of the properties that got damaged from the disaster.
Let me end this post with these three scriptures from the Holy Bible.
Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
Galatians 6: 2 (NKJV)
For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister.
Hebrews 6: 10 (NKJV)
We then who are strong ought to bear with the scruples of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, leading to edification.
Romans 15: 1-2 (NKJV)
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Las Piñas City to Donate P1 Million to Taal Volcano Eruption Victims
Las Piñas City Mayor Imelda T. Aguilar announced recently that the City Government is donating P1 million as financial assistance to the victims of the Taal Volcano eruption specifically those in the municipalities of Agoncillo and Lemery in Batangas. The City Council presided by Vice Mayor April Aguilar-Nery approved a resolution authorizing the release of P500, 000 to each municipality.
Mayor Aguilar said that “the donation is a gesture of the people of Las Piñas to help the residents of Agoncillo and Lemery rebuild their lives.”
For its part, the Las Piñas City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (LPCDRRMO) has initiated a relief drive to provide assistance to the remaining evacuees in the different evacuation centers. The various departments of the city government, national offices based in Las Piñas and non-government organizations have turned over their donations to the LPCDRRMO, the office in-charge of distributing the donated relief goods. Mayor Mel Aguilar and Vice Mayor April Aguilar-Nery had also donated hygiene kits to the residents of Lemery, Batangas.
City Administrator Reynaldo Balagulan has already notified Mayor Daniel Reyes of the Municipality of the Agoncillo and Mayor Eulalio Mendoza Alilio of Lemery about the donation of the City Government of Las Piñas. The turn- over of the cheque will be held next week.
This was a Press Release issued by the City Government of Las Piñas today for this website.
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Here in the Philippines, Taal Volcano erupted on January 12 pushing a massive amount of volcanic ash high up into the air. A short time later, the ash spread around and reached parts of Metro Manila.
The next morning, I went out for my usual hike here in Muntinlupa City going to Filinvest City. Along the way while inside our village, the volcanic ash were around me – on the side of the roads, the sidewalks, on top the leaves of some trees and over the surfaces of vehicles parked nearby. There was also collected ash that got wet as it rained the previous night.
Then I visited the local village park and saw the following…
I hiked on to Filinvest City. As light from the sun was bright enough, the ash on the road and the sidewalk became clearer. There were also prints of shoes, slippers and tire tracks spotted. I took the opportunity to photograph them.
I went further to Festival Mall. Unsurprisingly their roads and parking lots had lots of ash around. As I walked on, I wondered how many people with equipment they will deploy to clean up their parking spaces.
So I saw a lot about the volcanic ash in Alabang that morning. Certain things I saw during my morning hike reminded me a bit of what I saw back in 1991 regarding the volcanic ash Mount Pinatubo released. Metro Manila was not spared back then.
Still nothing prepared me for the volcanic ash that I saw as I drove from Alabang to our office in Laguna via the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX). As many vehicles moved both ways along the highway, there as a lot of Taal Volcano’s ash the view became less visible on certain stretches.
Then I took a short stopover at one of the gas stations along the SLEX. Here is what I saw.
The gas station was dirty with the volcanic ash. Many cars that were there were also dirty and people, including the maintenance workers, were seen wearing face masks. I witnessed one maintenance worker near me doing clean-up work by moving the volcanic ash into a pile and then collecting them and storing them into a black garbage bag.
Seeing him work like that made me pray that he and all other personnel assigned to do cleaning will get compensated well by their respective employers. There is so much Taal Volcano ash around, it will take quite some time and effort before achieving cleanliness.
I also pray that the victims – those who live in close proximity to Taal Volcano – will receive sufficient assistance from the local authorities as well as private donors or groups doing charity work. This is because those victims’ lives got disrupted and many of them had to leave their homes temporarily.
One credible organization to donate to is Operation Blessing Foundation Philippines which announced already its campaign to help Taal Volcano victims. Visit their website right here. Another worthy organization accepting donations is New Life Community Care.
The victims of the natural disaster need our help and prayers. Remember that.
So that’s it. January 13, 2020 will be remembered as one of the most unusual Mondays I had in many years. Given the tremendous amount of volcanic ash spotted EVERYWHERE I went that day, it is fitting for me to call the day as Ash Monday.
The City Government of Muntinlupa announced today that it has donated P2,000,000 to the Batanes Provincial Government for Itbayat’s rehabilitation after being struck by a 5.9 magnitude earthquake this past July. The donation was done through the city’s Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (DRRMO).
City Councilor members Marissa Rongavilla, Alexson Diaz, Katy Boncayao, and DRRMO chief Erwin Alfonso represented Mayor Jaime Fresnedi in the official turn-over ceremony of the financial assistance to Batanes Governor Marilou Cayco on August 17.
The City Government claims that the financial aid to the Municipality of Itbayat, Batanes will be used to implement development projects in the town and construction of a housing project for the 268 affected families. Governor Cayco extended her utmost thanks to the City Government of Muntinlupa and Mayor Fresnedi for the assistance.
It is recalled that on July 27, a series of strong earthquakes jolted Itbayat town which caused damage to structures and leaving eight (8) people dead and dozens injured.
According to bulletins from the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS), the town was hit by magnitudes 5.4, 5.9, 5.8 within hours of each other and several aftershocks. No tsunami alerts were issued.
Mayor Jaime Fresnedi said that this initiative is the city’s share in helping our kababayans who are in need.
“In the spirit of bayanihan, the local government of Muntinlupa will continue to lend its hand to towns in the country needing assistance,” Fresnedi added.
On the morning of July 8, the City Government of Las Piñas led by Mayor Imelda “Mel” Aguilar formally observed National Disaster Resilience Month (NDRM) with a special activity that emphasized how essential disaster preparedness is. The intention was to make the constituents aware of disaster preparedness and, at the same time, encourage them to participate in related activities organized by their respective barangays which number a total of twenty in the city.
Held at the Verdana covered court in Barangay Pamplona Tres was an exhibition of emergency equipment, kits and uniformed personnel who were present to answer inquiries. Some personnel demonstrated procedures on how to provide first aid. The exhibition served as the kick-off activity of the citywide observation of disaster preparedness.
Over at City Hall, City Government officials led by Mayor Aguilar, her daughter Vice Mayor April Aguilar-Nery expressed their full support to the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (Las Piñas DRRMO).
The said department is sponsoring the inaugural Inter-School On-The-Spot Poster-Making Competition as well as the 2nd Inter-Barangay First Aid Competition. Both competitions are designed to make Las Piñas residents aware of disaster preparedness and interested parties are welcome to call landline 552-7694 for inquiries about the activities.
In accordance to Executive Order Number 29 (2017), the month of July was declared as National Disaster Resilience Month which calls for observation nationwide for the entire month. It is practiced annually each July and it involves various sectors to do their part. The theme for National Disaster Resilience Month this year is “Kahandaan sa Sakuna’t Peligro Para sa Tunay na Pagbabago.”
For more information about the City of Las Piñas, click here.