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Metro Manila’s most climate-resilient communities to be rewarded

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The government will launch this year the first Metro Manila-wide search for communities that are most climate- and disaster-resilient.

The formal recognition aims to promote resilience-building practices to protect life, limb, property, and the environment from climate change, the search’s coordinator, Merva Arapo, said in an interview on Tuesday.

A joint project of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), the search is under a government program called “K5: Kilos sa Klima at Kalamidad tungo sa Kaligtasan at Kaunlaran.”

“K5 is anchored on preparedness and resilience,” Arapo said.

Under K5, marks of resilient communities include preparedness for extreme weather and other climate threats, having effective risk communication systems, and having networks for resource exchange, cohesion, response, and recovery.

Arapo said the formal recognition of the winning communities will be held on Nov. 23 at a venue that is yet to be determined.

The prize is P50,000 for first place; P40,000 for second; and P30,000 for third. Seven consolation prize winners will get P10,000 each.

Last year, the environment and interior departments signed a memorandum of agreement covering K5 to identify Metro Manila’s best climate- and disaster-resilient communities.

Both agencies believe these communities can serve as models for educating other settlements on climate change, thereby empowering the communities in solving the environmental problem.

The DILG and the DENR came up with the K5 program, as experts warned the Philippines is among the countries most vulnerable to the changing climate.

Environment experts said the phenomenon’s effects on the Philippines include the increasing onslaught of extreme weather and the rise in sea level and temperature.

“Communities must be able to deal with climate change,” Arapo stressed.

She said 12 of 28 communities that joined the search are already in the shortlist for scoring high on certain resilience-building practices.

The shortlisted communities are in Parañaque, Pasig, Makati, Quezon City, Malabon, and Valenzuela, she noted.

She added these communities are in the running for the top three spots. (PNA)