Malayan Colleges Laguna

Becoming a Master of Disaster

MCL Community took part in PTC Project RISE’s Master Trainer Program 

by: Reinhold Gabriel B. Catangay 

The MCL community (students, facilitators, and administrators) with the representatives of CSCE, PTC, and ASSIST. (Photo by: Edward Andrew A. Guese, MCL CSCE)

The Philippine Transmarine Carriers, Inc. (PTC), being a lead player in the maritime industry, commits to hone individuals in the areas of disaster preparedness and resiliency and continuously advocates building resilient communities. The Center for Service-Learning and Community Engagement’s (CSCE) current partnership with PTC, through the RISE Project, endeavors to engage the students in advocating for disaster preparedness and response.  

One of the components of Project RISE (Resiliency Improvement Support and Education for the Seafarer Community in the Philippines) is the Master Trainer Program (MTP) in partnership with the Asia Society for Social Improvement and Sustainable Transformation (ASSIST). The MTP seeks to equip the students, facilitators, and administrators of Malayan Colleges Laguna, A Mapúa School (MCL) with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes required to become resilient to potential disaster situations. Once accomplished, the individuals who participated in the said program are expected to be master trainers who will be in-charge of disseminating information about disaster preparedness to their respective organizations and communities.   

Mr. Welfredo D. Dalumpines of Aboitiz Foundation (left photo) and Ms. Jocelyn T. Bellin of CSCE with their presentations on DRRM and Gender-Based Violence in Emergencies (GBViE), respectively. (Photos by: Jocelyn T. Bellin and Edward Andrew A. Guese, MCL CSCE)

The CSCE, together with PTC and ASSIST, conducted the very first Master Trainer Program on October 18, 2022.  Mr. Welfredo D. Dalumpines, RN, MDRR, EMT, is the Program Manager for Environment and Disaster Resilience of the Aboitiz Foundation, is a Certified Search and Rescue Auxiliary of the 505 Air Force, and Philippine Air Force Reservist, and Chairperson of the League of Corporate Foundations Committee on Disaster Resilience. Prior to his presentation, Mr. Dalumpines started with a quiz to gauge the participants’ understanding of what Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) is all about.  

He emphasized the importance of attending this kind of session as “… it will foster learning on how to survive in times of disaster, but learnings alone will not contribute to the community being resilient”.  The Philippines, currently reported as the most disaster-prone country, suffers from natural calamities throughout the entire year, causing casualties, both accounted and unaccounted for.  

Mr. Dalumpines added that, as disasters can either be natural or human-induced, there has been a need for disaster response all year round and this is due to the Philippines being part of the Pacific Ring of Fire. With DRRM focused on reducing casualties during disasters, the emphasis must be on preventing what could happen rather than on responding to what happened already.  

The participants played a game of Master of Disaster (MOD) which has themes on DRRM. (Photo by: Edward Andrew A. Guese, MCL CSCE) 

Ms. Jocelyn T. Bellin, MA., MDMG., Director of the Center for Service-Learning and Community Engagement (CSCE), discussed Gender-Based Violence in Emergencies (GBViE) from a humanitarian perspective. Ms. Bellin, who formerly served as the Gender Program Analyst at the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), shared the importance of recognizing gender issues in disaster situations, defined gender-based violence or GBV, and identified the guiding principles in ensuring a gender-responsive approach to disaster situations and emergencies. 

Student Leaders who collected the most tokens at the end of the MOD game received a prize from PTC. (Photo by: Jocelyn T. Bellin, MCL CSCE)

A plethora of studies have shown the direct link between VAW/gender-based violence (GBV) and disaster risk and resilience. Women and men, girls and boys, face different levels of exposure and vulnerability to natural hazards and, therefore, are affected differently. Economically, disasters have different effects on men and women, with women largely disadvantaged. Likewise, GBV is exacerbated in post-disaster situations, while domestic violence rates also tend to increase in slow-onset disasters. Generally, there is collapse (albeit depending on the level of resiliency of communities and social structures) in community support systems and protection mechanisms in disaster situations. 

  The Master Trainer Program gathered a total of 150 on-site participants and 61 participants who attended via Zoom. Each participating student organization received a Master of Disaster (MOD) board game as a token of appreciation for their active participation in the MTP. Through the collective efforts of PTC, ASSIST, and MCL, it is hoped that the entire MCL community will harness these learnings and become ‘Master of Disasters’.