Community environmental engagement, DRRM capacities strengthened in ALERTOmas

ALERTOmas is an annual advocacy on Environmental Sustainability
and Action and Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM)
sponsored by the UST Simbahayan Community Development
Office. With the theme “Alertong Mamamayan, Ligtas na Pamayanan,”
the three-day event was participated in by representatives from the
different partner communities and institutions of the University. The
activities were organized by the ALERTOmas cluster consisting of the
College of Science, College of Architecture, Graduate School, Faculty of
Engineering, National Service Training Program and the Faculty of Arts
and Letters.

Marking the official start of the ALERTOmas was the Walk for
Creation activity that gave the participating communities an insight
of the events that are prevalent in today’s society. There were also six
stations that showed the calamities that Mother Earth continues to
experience, and social issues such as the government’s war on drugs,
and fake news. After reflecting on these issues, the participants signed
the “Pangako Sa Bayan.” Following the Walk for Creation activity was
a seminar-workshop on the care for the environment facilitated by
Ms. Mylene Saluta from the Fellowship for the Care and Creation, Inc.
(FCCAI). She gave a comprehensive talk on Pope Francis’ “Laudato Si:
On Care for Our Common Home.”

A Water Survival Training was conducted at the Paraiso ng
Kabataan, a government facility in Andalucia, Manila. They were asked
to do hands-on drills to help them deal with disaster situations. Knowing
that the Philippines is prone to landslides and floods, the activities were
focused on how to respond to these situations. The participants were
taught by Mr. Cris Falculan and his team, who are professionals from
Rescue 177. Documentary films on different calamities that the country
had encountered were shown at the UST Commerce Audio Visual Room.
The film-showing activity helped the participants realize and contemplate
on the importance of life.

On the last day of ALERTOmas, the participants went to Rizal Park. Faculty of Arts and Letters faculty member Melanie DC. Turingan of the Department of History, gave a lecture on the heroism and patriotism of Dr. Jose Rizal, the Philippine National Hero who was executed in Bagumbayan,
now known as Luneta or Rizal Park.

The lecture also discussed how the Rizal monument was constructed. The
participants had the chance to go and see the beautiful and
history-laden park.

The final stop over was the Manila Ocean Park where the participants were treated to a tour of the park’s amenities and its different attractions, particularly the different species of sea creatures. The Closing ceremony was also held in the Manila Ocean Park. Participants all left with gladness in their hearts and promise that they too will give their share of lessons back to their communities.

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