Demonstrating Community Resilience to Vulnerable Communities of Rosario, Cavite


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.


IIRR encourages capacity building activities through participatory processes of risk assessments and trainings to institutionalize disaster preparedness interventions. Participatory consultations, meetings, and workshops were facilitated to each barangay to develop or further enhance Barangay Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (BDRRM) plans. Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) were organized, building a system of coordination with every designated officer assigned. Series of Training of Trainers (ToT) were conducted to form core group members and encourage other barangay representatives to build a pool of CERT members. Local Flood Early Warning Systems (LFEWS) were developed, planned, and tested with the barangay to establish a standard procedure and protocols using Information, Education and Communication (IEC) materials to increase community awareness of flood warning signs. Use of localized devices (such as batingting, megaphone, river level monitor, etc.) serves as tools to be prepared for impending hazards such as floods and typhoons. Likewise, community drills were conducted that tested the community early warning system, SOP and protocols, CERT, and coordination mechanisms. The conducting of community drills enhanced community preparedness and provided a means for BDRRMCs to identifying their gaps and needs in improving their preparedness plans and building preparedness and readiness. DRR Day celebration and coastal clean-up activities were also organized in partnership with the municipal and barangay LGUs with participation by different community members. These helped in raising awareness about the important role of the community in protecting and preserving the environment that will help in reducing their risks. IIRR coordinated the project implementation and conducting of activities with the Rosario MDRRM Office and BDRRMCs by establishing a project implementation team (PIT) and project management team (PMT). These mechanisms helped in monitoring the progress of project implementation.
Women, children and youth, and the elderly were included in the various participatory assessments, workshops and capacity building activities such as conduct of community drills, first aid training, and disaster preparedness trainings. Mass demonstration on emergency response skills were conducted in the barangay, with participation of women, youth, elderly, and PWD. CERT trainings were conducted in public elementary and high schools.
At the community level, billboards indicating the 5-year BDRRM plans were posted at the barangay halls, tracking the progress of its implementation. Likewise, annual participatory reviews and planning with participation of key leaders in the 20 barangays and CERT were facilitated by the IIRR team. The PIT, composed of IIRR field staff, select barangay officials, and representatives from MDRRMO monitored the targets and progress of project implementation, reviewed and assessed activities conducted, adjusted or changed strategies, and helped address challenges and issues encountered during project implementation.


The community in general, including children and youth has increased awareness and knowledge on disaster preparedness, disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation. Barangays continue to conduct skills enhancement on disaster preparedness and first aid training. Barangays have also utilized their local DRR fund in procuring life-saving equipment and early warning devices. Schools have also conducted disaster preparedness awareness seminars and training, tapping into the knowledge of the Barangay CERT. The barangay CERT teams continue to play an active role in the MDRRM programs by providing assistance on emergency and disaster preparedness and response activities. They also serve as trainers to other CERT volunteers. Likewise, they continue their enhancement of skills by participating in different skills enhancement exercises organized by the Province. They even won several skills enhancement competitions. Some trained CERT volunteer were also tapped into by IIRR in delivering community disaster preparedness projects in other areas like in Ivisan, Capiz, and Tanauan, Leyte. These areas are Yolanda-affected communities. CERT volunteers also planned to register themselves as a volunteer organization in Rosario so they can take part in the MDRRM programs of the municipality.
Barangay officials and volunteers and community members, especially those living near the coastline, are now aware and knowledgeable on how to prepare and save themselves from typhoons and floods. The community flood early warning system i.e. megaphone, bells, sirens and appropriate Barangay officials and volunteers and community members, especially those living near the coastline, are now aware and knowledgeable on how to prepare and save themselves from typhoons and floods. The community flood early warning system i.e. megaphone, bells, sirens and appropriate actions and conducting of community drills helped and guided them on what to do and where to go in time of emergencies. These have saved their lives and reduced casualties and damages. Likewise, coordination among the barangays and the Municipal DRRMO had been established resulting in faster response and coordinated actions.