By Luzviminda dR. Arbutante (Photos taken by Efren Lascuña)

The Career Executive Service Board, in partnership with the Association of CARAGA Executives (ACE), brought the Project Paglaum to Butuan City, the home of the Balangays. First in Mindanao, the workshop yielded fifty-seven (57) new hope bearers from various government agencies who trooped to the two-day workshop conducted at Almont Inland Resort, Butuan City from 11-12 July 2016.

Project Paglaum seeks to develop in the heart of the participants the commitment to be a “hope bearer” and be an advocate of Paglaum. As hope-bearers, they are equipped to provide support and help rebuild the lives of victims of crisis and disasters who are devoid of hope.

Dr. Violeta V. Bautista, Founder and President of the Care and Counsel Wholeness and Training Center (CCWTC) and head of the Clinical Psychology Program of the University of the Philippines, led the facilitators in the two-day training workshop. Her co-facilitators include Ms. Cristabel Fagela-Tiangco of CCWTC and hope bearers Director Gay A. Tidalgo of Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) CARAGA Region and Mr. Mark Lemuel L. Garcia of Bukidnon State University in Region 10.

The facilitators shared the basic principles and skills in psychosocial support and led the exchange of views on how to properly respond to victims who experienced distressing events.

Participants appreciated the conduct of Paglaum in the city because of its significance in the disaster and risk reduction and management efforts in the region. Butuan City is prone to flooding during monsoon season due to its meteorological conditions characterized by high intensity or long duration of rainfall, and its proximity to Butuan Bay.

Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) – Region 13 Regional Director Mr. Manuel Luis M. Ochotorena, one of the participants of the activity, pledged to roll-out mental health and psychosocial support services from regional to local levels in CARAGA. Imelda N. Sabornido, Officer-in-Charge of Department of Education (DepEd) Division of Bayugan City commented that the program “is very innovative, but it touches my life as a public servant”.