To hear women’s voices on how the natural disasters impacted their lives and on how the concerned institutions can mitigate, prevent and reduce the disaster risk especially to vulnerable sectors, the DOST 7 in collaboration with the DOST 6 and 8 spearheaded a Visayas Cluster Forum on “Kababayen-an Taliwala sa Katalagman” (Women Amidst the Onslaught of Disasters) on March 18, 2022, via zoom platform.

Engr. Jesus F. Zamora said, “today’s celebration aims to call on all stakeholders to bring about collaborative measures of  preparedness, response, prevention and  mitigation so as to better withstand future disaster risks and heighten the resilience of women in DOST 6, 7 and 8 from the onslaught of all forms of natural disasters.”

Women representatives from Visayas shared their plight during and after the Typhoon Odette, they are, Ms. Carmel Osmena-Orbida of Negros Occidental, Ms. Dorothy Degula of Cebu  City, and Ms. Nisa P. Solana of Southern Leyte. They revealed how typhoon Odette devastated their livelihood, their community structures and even their own abode. They also shared how they survived after three or four months with the help of private institutions, friends and community members.

Mr. Ryan Vilmor J. Dumpit, Head of Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Unit of DOST VI imparted on the importance on the knowledge of Data in times of Disaster so as to lessen the impact of the disaster risk to the  affected communities.

Moreover, Ms. Leah Anadon-Payud, Resilience Portfolio Manager of Oxfam in Easter Visayas, expounded on the strategies on how women were empowered in disaster response.

While, Ms. Lavernia P. Velez, Training Specialist 1 of the Office of the Civil Defense in Cebu, shared on the prevention and mitigation measures to lessen impact of risks especially to vulnerable sectors like women.

In support to the cause of women, Engr. Rowen R. Gelonga, Regional Director of DOST 6, calls for a heightened collaboration of all concerned agencies in the Visayas so as to lessen if not stop, the impact of disasters to all affected communities.

The activity was graced by Asec. Diana L. Ignacio, DOST-Wide GAD Focal Person of the DOST GAD and Regional Support Services and the Assistant Secretary for Human Resources Management, Management Services, and Special Concerns.

By Myrel Madridano – Siason