The Municipality of Rosario in Cavite is a first class urban municipality located along Manila Bay. It is the most densely populated municipality in the province with 92,253 people (2010 Census) and a land area of only 5.6 square kilometres. Fishing is a major economic activity with nine coastal barangays (out of 20 barangays). Due to its elevation, Rosario is said to be the ‘catch basin’ and ‘discharge point’ of several watersheds located in Tagaytay and upland municipalities.
Community-managed disaster risk reduction (CMDRR) is a strategy for effective reduction of disaster risks and adaptation. It is best achieved by supporting implementation of community-led disaster and climate risks interventions and building the capacities of both vulnerable members of the community and the local government structures. Through a series of participatory interventions, the community learns to identify, manage and respond to their own risks themselves.
IIRR, in partnership with the municipality of Rosario and with funding support from United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) implemented a project titled ‘Modelling climate smart and resilient communities’ from August 2011 to July 2013. The project, which covered nine (9) coastal barangays, developed and built BLGUs capacities on DRR, CCA & CMDRR concepts and principles, conducting participatory risk assessments and analyses, enhancing their skills in creating and digitizing community maps, DRR-CCA program planning and implementation, formulation of barangay disaster risk reduction management plans and integration of BDRRM plans into the municipal DRRM plans.
The project also facilitated the community to identify DRR models on natural resource management, livelihoods and health such as establishment of coastal vegetation as a mitigation measure, assessment and risk-proofing of livelihoods, and establishment of a community garden for livelihood and health resilience.
The project also provided community seed funds to implement various DRR measures such as the establishment of an early warning system, canal clean up and dredging, and conducting of IEC. A livelihood assistance package (capacity building, inputs and capital) for rug-making for MOMSLI was also provided.
Then from September 2012 to August 2013, in partnership with the Philippines-Australia Community Assistance Program (PACAP), community preparedness was instituted in three (3) coastal barangays which included support for contingency planning, community drills, early warning systems and formation of community emergency response teams (CERT).
The project also conducted participatory action research on coastal resource management that identified appropriate species of trees and plants to be used in natural mitigation measures against flooding and storm surges. A community nursery to propagate these identified species was also established.
From May 2014 to January 2016, UMCOR supported the scaling out of the project to 20 barangays under the title “Demonstrating Community Resilience to Climate Change and Disasters in Vulnerable Communities in Cavite Philippines”.
Apart from the local government units (LGUs) of Rosario, IIRR also worked with the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office – Cavite Office of Public Safety, Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), Philippine National Police, and the Philippine National Red Cross.