Catbalogan City – Samar State University (SSU), in cooperation with the Local Government Unit (LGU) of Catbalogan City, the Provincial Government of Samar, and the Psychological Association of the Philippines (PAP), conducted a two-day Facilitators’ Training on Mental Health, Psychological First Aid (PFA), and the Katatagan Module at the SSU Audio-visual Center (AVC), July 13-14. 

The two-day facilitators’ training is a response to the May 8 fire incident in the coastal community of Catbalogan City, Samar, which burned at least 300 houses.

 Studies have shown that some individuals affected by disasters may be at risk of developing long-term mental health problems. Interventions from trained facilitators may deliver preventive measures or programs to develop resilience skills among individuals, families, or groups, as well as help them cope with stress and anxiety.

 “Before any intervention is given, it is deemed essential to ensure that the emergency responders and volunteers are fully equipped with the necessary skills to properly address and support mental and emotional needs and well-being of those affected by emergency situations or disaster. Thus, this two-day facilitators’ training on PFA and the Katatagan Program was proposed,” said Ms. Junelle Guerra, one of the proponents and an SSU College of Graduate Studies faculty member.

The opening program was attended by the University President, Dr. Marilyn D. Cardoso, who gave the opening remarks; the Catbalogan City Mayor, Hon. Stephany Uy-Tan, who delivered an inspirational message; and the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Officer, Hon. Van A. Torrevillas, who also gave an inspirational talk.

The training covered topics such as Introduction to Mental Health and Basic Facilitation Skills, Psychological First Aid, and the Katatagan Program. Simulations were also given emphasis to give the facilitators an interactive and first-hand experience of how to facilitate victims of disasters.


Under the Research Center for Culture and Social Issues through the Career Guidance Office, Mrs. Mae Cañal, Registered Guidance Counselor and by Ms. Guerra spearheaded the training sponsored by PAP, Catbalogan City Government, and Samar Provincial Government.

CATBALOGAN CITY, Samar – Samar State University (SSU) performed the “duck, cover and hold” technique again during the 2nd Quarter Nationwide Simultaneous Earthquake Drill (NSED) held at SSU.

Starting with an introductory, SSU’s DRRMC Officer Mr. Juniel B. Tagarino oriented the faculty about NSED, earthquake, and what to do before, during and after one.

He stated that we need to strengthen efforts on disaster risk reduction specifically earthquake hazards since the Central Samar Lineament starts from Darahuway Guti crossing SSU to the upland – in other words, SSU lies on a fault.

Launched with the hashtag #BidaAngHanda, the drill started at 2 PM being simultaneous. The faculty followed the technique on the first alarm.  They evacuated to the open area (front of the SSU Gymnasium) when the evacuation alarm sounded. Facilitators did the head count and reported to the president, as instructed during the orientation.

Representatives from the Bureau of Fire Protection, Provincial DRRM Office, City DRRMC, and Philippine Red Cross-Western Samar Chapter were present during the drill and gave comments and advices after.

Concluding the event, Dr. Marilyn D. Cardoso, SSU president and DRRMC manager, emphasized the importance of the drill, stating further that the faculty should orient the students on the first day of classes for the latter to be ready during earthquakes given SSU’s topographical location.

NSED is a quarterly activity organized by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) to test the preparedness of government units during earthquakes.

The Eastern Visayas Health Research Development Consortium (EVHRDC) conducts the 3rd quarter meeting for the Executive Committee members and Chairpersons of the five (5) committees on July 10, 2018 @ Sal’s Restaurant  in Tacloban City. 

The said meeting has been participated by Ms. Anicia P. Catameo, RPO of EVHRDC and majority of the members of the ExeCom namely, Dr. Minerva Molon, the Chair of the ExeCom, Engr. Ernesto M. Granada, the Consortium Director, Dr. Maura Cristobal, CHED Regional Director, Dr. Edgardo Tulin, VSU University President and Prof. Amabel A. Ganzo of UPSHS. Also present in the meeting who presented their accomplishment reports were the committee chairpersons of the consortium, namely: Mr. Leonido Olobia (DOH), RMC Chair, Dr. Jane Borrinaga (EVRMC), ERC Chair, Mr. Willard N. Riveral (NSU), RIC Chair, and Ms. Josephine Hipe (PITAHC), SOMEC Chair.

The agenda of the meeting includes the discussion of the status of the GIA – Funded Proposal on Capability Building Activities and the presentation of the new member institutions of the consortium. As reported by Ms. Hipe, there are three (3) institutions who expressed their intentions of joining the consortium which include, the Philippine Science High School, San Lorenzo Ruiz College of Ormoc and Ormoc District Hospital respectively. As suggested by Dr. Tulin, a resolution has to be issued by the ExeCom to ratify the membership of the abovementioned institutions. Moreover, plans for the conduct of the Qualitative Data Analysis Training which include the acquisition of the NVivo software has been discussed by Mr. Willard Riveral and has been deliberated by the body.  Also, Engr. Granada discussed the upcoming activities of the consortium which include the Mid-year Assessment and 2nd Semester planning cum Launching of the MOO which will be conducted on July 26-27, 2018 based on the availability of the majority of the key persons.

During the meeting, Ms. Catameo presented the details of the upcoming Philippine National Health Research System Celebration on August 6-10, 2018 which will be held in Bagiuo City. After which, Dr. Molon also announced the probable official participants of the EVHRDC to the said event. The Committee chairs were also given the opportunities to present their accomplishment reports for the 2nd quarter which the ExeCom has recognized. Before the meeting has been adjourned, the body intensively deliberated the Financial Report presented by the EVHRDC Secretariat thru Ms. Jessamay Mercado.




Catbalogan City – As Samar State University (SSU) intensifies its thrust on resiliency, the university radio DYSY 102.9, through its head, head, Mrs. Joan J. Baclay, invited officers from the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) to talk on fire prevention on the program “Andam Ako. Ikaw, Andam Ka Ba?” (I am Ready. Are You?) at the university radio station.

As part of disaster risk reduction, DYSY raised questions on (VERIFY THESE: the common causes of fire in Catbalogan [or Samar preferably], and preventive measures) to (name of officer/s), position.

According to the officers, the common cause of fire in Catbalogan, even nationally, is related to electricity. This is due to substandard wiring/connections and lack of maintenance and monitoring.

They advised to turn off the main switch in houses if there is no one, and to avoid overnight charging of gadgets as preventive measures.

BFP also asked for the drivers to cooperate by giving way to them during fire response to prevent delays.

When at a fire, people should drop on the floor to prevent suffocation.

BFP also conducts first aid trainings in barangays, one of the year-round activities.

Infomercials related to disaster risk reduction, produced by BSEd (Bachelor of Secondary Education) English students, were aired during the program.

Mrs. Baclay stated that the infomercials are also ways of SSU to remind the citizens their responsibilities in the society and to effectively convey message necessary to equip the community on resiliency.

After the program, the station received a text message from Jane, a listener in Zumarraga.

Thanking DYSY, she stated further, “Dako po ine na bulig labi na gud na waray kami didi fire station. (This is a big help to us especially that we do not have a fire station here.)”

Palo, Leyte-“The sustained support and commitment expressed by the various stakeholders promises a successful celebration of this year’s nutrition month and the realization of our efforts to accelerate and improve the overall health and nutrition status of our children and the entire people in Eastern Visayas,” said by the Regional Nutrition Program Coordinator Dr. Catalino P. Dotollo, Jr. during the Nutrition Month (NM) Stakeholders Meeting, held on 19 June 2018, at the PopCom Conference Room, PopCom Compound, Government Center, Palo, Leyte.

Said expression came after the nutrition stakeholders from the local government units, non-government organizations, civil society organizations, among others, conveyed their support and participation to the month-long activities which will be highlighted with motorcade and launching activities, thematic talks, nutri-contests, and food garden advocacies. 

The nutrition month celebration is pursuant to Presidential Decree 491, or the Nutrition Act of the Philippines, signed on June 25, 1974, which mandates the National Nutrition Council (NNC) to spearhead the nationwide celebration of the Nutrition Month. 

This year’s celebration, with the theme is “Ugaliing Magtanim, Sapat na Nutrisyon Aanihin!”, underscores nutrition awareness through improved food access by increasing the number of households, schools, and communities engaged in food gardens. Specifically, the celebration aims to (1) encourage development of food gardens among families and in communities, schools, government offices, and workplaces; (2) mobilize various stakeholders to provide a fostering environment for sustainable food gardens; and (3) provide a platform to generate success stories of food gardens and recognize successful food gardeners.