Municipal Government of San Fernando, Romblon
Best Practice Focus Area/s
Leadership, Strategy, Human Resource
This is a GBPR finalist entry
The Municipality of San Fernando was the first municipality in the Province of Romblon to conduct the Rescue and Fire Olympics, which aims to strengthen and promote community disaster preparedness towards increased resilience. The first-ever Rescue and Fire Olympics was launched last 25 July 2018, as part of the National Disaster Resilience Month Celebration with the theme: “Katatagan sa Kalamidad ay Makakamtan Kapag Sapat ang Kaalaman sa Kahandaan”. The second Fire Olympics was organized last 26 July 2019 with the theme, “Kahandaan sa Sakuna’t Peligro Para sa Tunay na Pagbabago”.
Background and Problem
Disaster can be considered inevitable nowadays due to global warming and climate change. No one today is safe from calamities and even from accidents. Therefore, everyone can be a victim of any form of disaster. Due to its geographical setting, the Municipality cannot escape the possibility of being affected by various calamities. Therefore, the conduct of the Rescue and Fire Olympics every month of July since 2018 has been essential and imperative to prepare effectively, respond to, face the consequences, and capacitate the key actors in times of calamity. It also provides additional knowledge and skills to every school and local official to improve the capability and capacity of every constituent for environmental adaptation.
The Local Government Unit of San Fernando, Romblon, through the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, must provide its constituents with a safe, peaceful, and sustainable environment to address and adapt to the effects of climate change. Consequently, it upholds that it is everyone’s civic duty to help, support, and cooperate with the government’s undertakings and abide by the laws enacted by the government authorities to sustain government efforts on climate change and to prepare and mitigate calamity impact on lives, properties, agricultural productivity, commerce and industry, infrastructure, service delivery, and livelihood, before, during and after disasters.
Solution and Impact
Of all the seventeen municipalities of Romblon Province, the LGU of San Fernando was the first to conceptualize and consistently conduct a Rescue and Fire Olympics in 2018. This is a special event held every July following the annual celebration of National Disaster Resilience Month. The activity primarily aims to scout and capacitate volunteers or groups of volunteers on basic rescue techniques and skills. Initially, the LGU tapped various secondary and tertiary schools in the municipality and encouraged students to join the activity with support from their faculty and other school officers. This practice has honed individuals on standard protocol and rescue and fire operations strategies. The competition was composed of three battles: Rescue and Transfer Relay, Fire Extinguishment, and Bucket Relay. Each participating school also had representatives for Miss Rescue and Fire Olympics Ambassadress.
The activity was made possible through the initiative of the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office and support from the Bureau of Fire Protection. All Secondary and Tertiary Schools have been participating every year.
The following are the steps undertaken for this LGU Practice:
- Establishment of guidelines, mechanics, rules, and regulations, including the budgets for the events;
- Conduct orientation and demonstration with each participating Rescue and Fire Brigades Team;
- Submission of list of participants, including their medical certificate;
- Preparation of the venue and all the equipment and materials needed for the event;
- Events proper: Parade, Program, Competition proper, awarding ceremony; and
- Monitoring of the said Program for sustainability.
The Local Government Unit of San Fernando, Romblon, has received the Gawad Kalasag Award for CY 2018 and 2019 conferred by the Office of Civil Defense MIMAROPA Regional Office. The same Office provided the MDRRMO of San Fernando, Romblon, with a Certificate of Appreciation. Schools and the community have been capacitated and prepared to respond independently during emergencies. With this initiative or practice, the LGU found a solution by establishing an auxiliary force at the community level that can be tapped in case of disaster or emergency.