In the past three years, the Philippines faced emergencies that challenged our ability to respond quickly and effectively given their nuances. The Marawi siege in 2017, Davao earthquake in 2019, the eruption of Taal volcano in 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic – the first major public health emergency we have encountered, and typhoons Maring and Odette in 2021.

Recent data from DSWD Field Office 1 (DSWD FO 1) through Disaster Response Management Division (DRMD) – Disaster Response Information and Management Section shows that Super Typhoon Maring caused severe damage in the infrastructure and agriculture sector due to flood and landslide in Region 1.

With this, DSWD FO 1 in partnership with the Local Government of Cervantes, Ilocos Sur through the Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Office (MENRO), Lepanto Consolidated Mining Company, and the 69th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army planted 500 pinetree seedlings at Sitio Cayus, Barangay Remedios, Cervantes, Ilocos Sur on 7 July 2022, this is also in connection in the celebration of National Disaster Resilience Month with the theme “Sambayanang Pilipino, nagkakaisa tungo sa katatagan at maunlad na kinabukasan.”

DSWD FO 1 staff together with the MENRO and the 69th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army plant the 500 pinetree seedlings in the identified mountain range in Cervantes, Ilocos Sur.

“Our tree planting activity aims to raise awareness to our community to prevent the negative impacts of deforestation and for us to continuously mitigate the effects of climate change. We all know that planting trees has a positive effect to our environment. We thank the LGU with their commitment to tend the seedlings until these are fully grown,” shared DRMD Project Development Officer III Marie De Guzman.

MENRO Environmental Officer Engineer Caesar Pe expressed his gratitude in behalf of the Local Government Unit of Cervantes, Ilocos Sur to the Department. “We had a tree planting activity in June in this same location planning to make this as a park. We are glad because the 500 seedlings will add beauty in Cervantes with the goal to spread environmental protection for the next generation,” he exclaimed.

DSWD FO 1 actively joins in the Disaster Resilience activities like NDRM, which emphasizes the importance of collaboration in addressing the challenges of Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction and Management. How about you? What greater ways do you think can we help to reduce the effect and impact of disasters so we can have a better tomorrow? by: Nicole Kasandra A. Lipawen, Information Officer II – Disaster Response Management Division