JRMSU – UDRRMS titlist of Gawad Kalasag 2023

August 8, 2023 — JRMSU’s University Disaster Risk Reduction Management Services (UDRRMS) continues to cultivate itself not only as the academe’s beacon of hope in the midst of adversity, but also the premier State University and College (SUC) disaster respondent as they hailed as champion in Gawad Kalasag – Regional Level during the recently concluded Culmination of the National Disaster Resilience Month.

On July 3, a composite team of validators coming from the Office of Civil Defense, CHED, and DEpED, conducted desk validation and field validation to the competing universities to examine their documents, exhibits for apparatus, and set up in office.

Besting three competitors—Zamboanga Peninsula Polytechnic State University (ZPPSU), Western Mindanao State University (WMSU), and Universidad de Zamboanga (UZ)—JRMSU’s UDRRMS continuously exhibited advancement in their disaster management and preparedness, and expansion in their services, as they progressed as champion—far from their previous 3rd ranking in the Gawad Kalasag (KAlamidad at Sakuna LAbanan SAriling Galing ang Kaligtasan) 2019.

In 2018, UDRRMS started with an almost bare classroom and no funding and was punctured with several tribulations when COVID-19 pandemic struck; however, they persisted in its commitment to serve, spearheading the distribution of face shields, providing learning modalities such as pigeon/drop boxes, and working closely with municipalities, Local Government Unit (LGU) Dapitan, and the University, when Jose Rizal Memorial State University (JRSMU) adapted the Flexible Learning System.

In 2019, they became the only member of the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council among other State University Colleges in Zamboanga Peninsula.

“Aside from Gawad Kalasag, we are into linkages and collaboration with other stakeholders both public and private institutions and are also entertaining other colleges who want to benchmark with us, like the University of Southeastern Philippines (USEP), Philippine Polytechnic University (PUP), and Bukidnon State University (BUKSU),” Dr. Victor Bernido said.

Pioneered by volunteer students with the passion to serve and save lives, the UDRRMS has extended its service in school activities such as the Mindanao Association of State Tertiary Schools (MASTS) Games, Students’ Fest, and University Week, among others, through medical care to create a safer environment for the students and faculty of the institution.

In an interview, Dr. Bernido expressed that the UDRRMS emphasize the prevailing challenges in reducing disaster risks and managing the impacts of disaster in the communities and academe.
He also highlighted the essence of inclusivity and community participation in building disaster resilience — embracing and promoting community inclusiveness as the key to foster preparedness, as it empowers every individual regardless of background or circumstance, and is a pragmatic and essential approach to building a disaster-resilient nation.

Writers | Janssen Elopre & Krizia Tubat