By: Julie Anne C. Dee
The Philippine Association of NSTP Implementers and Disaster Risk Managers Inc. (PANIDRMI) conducted its 1st International Conference last September 21 to 23, 2022, at the Kaisa Convention Hall, Tarlac City. The theme of the conference was “Empowered, Dedicated NTSP Implementers and Disaster Risk Managers: A Key Milestone Towards UN SDG and Ambisyon 2040’s Realization”. Established in 2022, the PANIDRMI is an organization that is guided by the provisions of the National Service Training Program Law (Republic Act No. 9163) of 2001 and the Disaster Risk Reduction Management Law (Republic Act No. 10121).
In partnership with Tarlac State University (TSU) and endorsed by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), 500 National Service Training Program (NSTP) implementers and Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) Managers across the country managed to participate in the conference. With the conference’s connection with the United Nations’ and Philippines’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the event aimed to serve as an open platform for exchange of ideas and knowledge between both speakers and participants, leading to concrete and appropriate actions to mitigate the effects of natural disasters. Dr. Susana L. Fernandez, GSC PA (Res), PANIDRM President and NSTP/DRRM coordinator of Pangasinan State University, welcomed the representatives from participating SUCs and LGUs across the country.
The Center for Service-Learning and Community Engagement (CSCE) participated in the said conference as the department responsible for the operation and implementation of the NSTP courses of the Malayan Colleges Laguna, A Mapúa School. Ms. Julie Anne C. Dee (NSTP Program Coordinator) and Ms. Jocelyn T. Bellin (Director of CSCE) served as the delegates of the conference.
Major Hermie P. Pava (Left), President of Philippine Society of NSTP Educators and Implementers (PSNEI), discussing the Roadmap for NSTP Development and Mr. Clement R. Japones, Jr (Right), Project Officer of the International Federation of Red Cross, presenting the Global Approaches of United Nations in Strategizing DRRM
The three-day event focused on the following key areas: 1) Key revisions of the NSTP Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR); 2) Global Approaches of United Nations in Strategizing Disaster Risk Reduction Management; 3) Multi-dimensional Domains of Disaster Risk Managers: Towards Community Involvement and Resilience; 4) Effective Curriculum Planning and Sound Disaster Risk Management Manual of Operations: A Perspective of SUC and LGU Partnerships; Responding to Mental Health Issues during Catastrophe: A Global Outlook; 5) Challenges of NSTP Implementers and Disaster Risk Managers in the Philippines: Towards Readiness to Turbulence; and 6) Luzon Islands: An Archipelagic Voyage to a Disaster Resilient Communities.
The conference also addressed the need to reinforce the mobilization of the National Service Reserve Corps (NSRC), a reserve corps composed of graduates of the Civic Welfare Training Service (CWTS) and Literacy Training Service (LTS) – among the SUCs and HEIs. In accordance with Philippine DRMM Law (Republic Act No. 10121), members of the NSRC ought to serve as ‘on-call’ volunteers who can be tapped by the DRRM should emergency-related occurrences happen within a locality.
The participants also discussed their respective views on the implementation of the Mandatory Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC). While the present administration proposed the revival of mandatory ROTC, some of the event participants showed support and others were opposed the idea of it being implemented in the Senior High School.
With this conference, MCL CSCE hopes to strengthen the existing network among NSTP and DRR advocates to make the implementation of NSTP more responsive and attuned to the call of the times. More importantly, the 1st PANIDRMI Conference succeeded in imparting to the participants the pertinent knowledge/information and skills that are required of the NSTP students as well as of the implementers, and the appropriate responses needed in disaster and risk incidents in the communities they belong to.