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The said Search, which was launched in  the November 2017 climate consciousness week celebration,  is spearheaded by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’  (DENR) Climate Change Service and Environmental Management Bureau, with the Department of Interior and Local Government-National Capital Region, and assisted by the  Office of Civil Defense-National Capital Region,  Metro Manila Development Authority, and DOST-PAGASA.

Dr. Emmanuel M. Luna of the University of the Philippines’ College of Social Work and Community Development presented some of the potential climate change impacts on health, agriculture, forests as well as protected areas. He also gave the characteristics of disaster-resilient communities which are capacity to anticipate, capacity to manage, and capacity to recover.

Also gracing the event was Ms. Jacqueline A. Caancan, Regional Executive Director of the DENR National Capital Region. In her message, she mentioned why it is important to give communities the opportunity to showcase their good practices in climate and disaster resiliency. "Metro Manila is often prone to extreme weather events such as typhoons, heavy rains and floods. These are just some of the challenges we need to face today and in the future", she said.

Atty. Analiza R. Teh, DENR Undersecretary for Climate Change and Mining Concerns explained the aim of the K5 Search. "We want to identify and feature the good practices of communities, and hopefully encourage others to do the same. Extreme weather events and disaster risks are major challenges in the Philippines. That is why we need to empower our communities to be more resilient and adaptive".

The following barangays were declared as major prize winners:

1st Prize: Brgy. 31, Southside, Makati City

2nd Prize: Brgy. San Isidro, Parañaque

3rd Prize: Brgy. San Jose, Pasig City

Meanwhile, the following barangays were declared as consolation prize winners:

Barangays 121, 170, and 178, Caloocan City

Brgy. ArkongBato, Valenzuela

Brgy. Potrero, Malabon

Barangays Batasan Hills and Commonwealth, Quezon City

Some of the winning innovations and good practices of these barangays include the establishment of a Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) Unit, installation of CCTV cameras and sirens, conduct of drills, seminars and trainings on DRRM, regular cleanup drives, mobilization of different barangay organizations, greening programs, proper solid waste management, maintenance of Materials Recovery Facilities, and updating of flood markers and hazard maps, among others.

Ms. Elenida Basug, OIC-Director of the DENR Climate Change Service and concurrent Chief of the EMB's Environmental Education and Information Division, commended the winning barangays for all their efforts and initiatives, which can help in addressing current "climate chaos". She also mentioned the 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels as the target maximum increase in global temperature, as set by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Hence, resiliency coupled with positive action is needed. "We hope we can fast track replicating all of your programs on a national scale, so that together we can be resilient and prepared for the negative effects of climate change and disaster risks," Ms. Basug said.

The Seminar-cum- Awarding Ceremony for the Metro Manila Search for Climate-and Disaster-Resilient Communities is a part of the celebration of November 2018 as the National Environmental Awareness Month, with the theme, "Greening the Future: 10 Years of Enhancing Education for a Healthier Environment and Safer Climate,” and November 19-25, 2018 as the National Climate Change Consciousness Week, with the theme, “The 1.5 degrees Celsius Climate Challenge: Survive and Thrive Together.” ###