The Philippines is ranked as the most disaster-prone country in the world, based on the World Risk Report 2022 by Germany-based Bündnis Entwicklung Hilft and the Institute for International Law of Peace and Armed Conflict at Ruhr University Bochum (IFHV)1. It is therefore imperative that multi-stakeholders gather their acts together to eliminate the risks brought about by the disastrous effects of natural and even human-made disasters.
To eradicate the adverse effects of disasters, the Philippine Transmarine Carriers, Inc. (PTC), an organization that aims to harness the expertise of current and future maritime professionals by working together in sharing knowledge and skills with communities in terms of disaster preparedness, community disaster resilience, and risk management, has partnered with Malayan Colleges Laguna, A Mapúa School (MCL) to facilitate the implementation of Project RISE (Resiliency Improvement Support and Education for the Seafarer Community in the Philippines). Through the Center for Service-Learning and Community Engagement (CSCE), Project RISE will provide capacity building for the identified in the most disaster-prone communities in the City of Cabuyao, together with their respective focal persons, and joint activities with the City.
Hence, a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) was finally approved and signed by the respective signatories of both parties: Dr. Dodjie S. Maestrecampo, MCL President and Chief Executive Officer, and Prof. James Ronald O. Mesina, MCL Assistant Vice President for External Relations and Global Linkages; and Mr. Hector Jon C. Brizuela, ENP, Project RISE Lead from PTC, and Mr. Marcus Leslie R. Suntay, PTC Head of Strategic Planning, Shipping Cluster, on September 28, 2022, at the MCL campus. CSCE organized the event and its Director, Ms. Jocelyn T. Bellin, facilitated the flow of the brief program. Capt. Armando A. Ternida, Dean of the Mapúa-PTC College of Maritime Education and Training (CMET), Capt. Stan Santiago, Director of the PTC’s Social Infrastructure Platform – Pipeline Engagement Program (SIP-PEP), and Mr. Josh P. McCarver, Program Officer of SIP-PEP, were present at the signing.
The representatives of MCL and PTC sign the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for the integration of Project RISE to MCL. (Photo by: Reinhold Gabriel B. Catangay, MCL CSCE)
Mr. Brizuela discussed the different components of Project RISE and what it entails, namely, (1) Training program – Citizens Training Program & Master Training Program – both aims to capacitate the volunteers in disaster management; (2) Project RISE mobile app – an application developed with the SMART Development Institute (SDI), that will monitor the weather and calamities that would affect the City of Cabuyao; (3) Master of Disaster (MOD) – a board game about that teaches how to prepare and actively respond to different calamities in the Philippines; (4) PTC-RISE MCL Volunteers – MCL student volunteers will be the core champions of Project RISE through the Mapúa-PTC College of Maritime Education and Training (Mapúa-PTC CMET); and (5) Integration of modules on Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) into the National Service Training Program (NSTP) courses to mainstream topics about climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction.
With regards to the integration of DRRM into NSTP courses, Mr. Brizuela added that the Senior High School (SHS) of MCL is welcome to take part in the project given that SHS students also have units on DRRM. To bring the gathering to a conclusion, Mr. Suntay offered his gratitude to MCL for accepting their invitation to bring their goal – equipping people with knowledge of how to prepare for and address different disaster situations – to fruition.