The complete support of Hon. Jaime R. Fresnedi, City Mayor of Muntinlupa in keeping the public fully aware and always prepared in times of disaster was manifested in the successful implementation of the DOST – NCR #HANDAforKIDS or the Hazards and Natural Disaster Awareness for Kids, last 22 - 23 February 2018 at the Muntinlupa Sports Complex, Muntinlupa City. Over 500 underprivileged and physically challenged kids along with thousands of grades 6 – 12 students from public schools of Muntinlupa, Taguig, Pateros, Parañaque, and Las Piñas (MUNTAPARLAS) attended and participated in the event.
#HANDAforKIDS generally aims to share a unique science experience for underprivileged and physically challenged kids which they have not experienced before. It consists of various disaster and hazards awareness activities like video shows, interactive and exhibits, and lectures with hands-on experiments.
In the message of DOST Secretary Fortunato T. de la Peña, read by Undersecretary for Regional Services, Brenda L. Nazareth-Manzano, he said, “aside from education, the best gift we could give to our children is PREPAREDNESS.”
Meanwhile, Dr. Renato U. Solidum, Undersecretary of Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation also shared four important points on how to prepare during hazards and disasters. He said, "Paano ba dapat maghanda? Una, alamin ang mga uri ng sakuna; Pangalawa, bantayan ang mga panganib; Pangatlo, pagbibigay ng tamang impormasyon kung paano maghanda; at ang Pang-apat, ang tama at mabilis na pagresponde habang at pagkatapos ng sakuna".
#HANDAforKIDS is a reprise of the 2017 NSTW Disaster Awareness Summit and Science Experience for Street Kids, a collaborative program of DOST R&D Councils/Institutes -- the National Research Council of the Philippines (NRCP), Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS), Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), and Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (PNRI).
The DOST-NCR, headed by Regional Director Jose B. Patalinjug III, adopted the concept for its program on hazards and disaster awareness campaign for the underprivileged and physically challenged kids of MUNTAPARLAS.
The effects of typhoons, floods, earthquakes, and tsunamis and how DOST, through its projects, minimizes the risks and impacts of these natural hazards and disasters, were shared with the kids in a manner that they had fun. The DOST prepared learning and simulation activities that made the event more enjoyable for kids. The need to be knowledgeable on the basic science-based preparation-techniques is a crucial learning as this will help in survival during a disaster.
The event was made possible with the collaboration of partner DOST and private agencies namely CARE Philippines, and Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry – Muntinlupa (PCCI – Muntinlupa), headed by President Elvie Sanchez-Quiazon, which donated 150 hard hats to the participants.
The two-day event was also graced by the Mayors of Muntinlupa and Pateros, DOST government officials, and attended by the municipal administrators held at the Muntinlupa Sports Complex, Brgy. Tunasan, Muntinlupa City.
“Though preparation pronouncements and initiatives are still not enough to tone down the formidable upshot of another disaster, it is with great appreciation that government agencies have campaign programs that keep everyone abreast with science-based information relating to preparedness and responsiveness,” said Hon. Fresnedi. As a result, the event coined #BidaangHANDA, #DontPanic, and Sa kamay mo nakasalalay ang kaligtasan mo! #MagingListo as strong preparedness advocacy taglines.
According to the City Mayors of Pateros and Parañaque, this initiative will be adopted by their municipalities in a much wider participation.
Aside from the science-based knowledge gained, it was a priceless experience for the physically challenged and underprivileged kids as they got involved in a “never-before” experience.
DOST NCR Regional Director Jose B. Patalinjug III (left) and DOST Undersecretary for Regional Operations Brenda L. Nazareth-Manzano (right) presented plaques of recognition to DOST R&D Councils/Institutes which supported the event. NRCP Executive Director Marieta Bañez Sumagaysay received the plaque on behalf of NRCP.