MAASIN CITY (PIA) -- The province of Southern Leyte obtained, for the second time, the national citation for its exemplary performance on disaster risk reduction-related activities.

According to Danilo Atienza, provincial disaster risk reduction management officer (PDRRMO), the province earned the “Beyond Compliant” provincial category award, and thus was recognized as such at the 22nd Gawad Kalasag Seal of Excellence ceremonies at the Manila Hotel, Tuesday, December 6.

It was the highest form of rating given to a provincial local government unit that showed dedicated efforts through the various stakeholders in its disaster-related programs, projects on preparedness and response, truly reflecting Kalasag, a Tagalog word that means shield.

The term is also used as an acronym that stands for, “Kalamidad at Sakuna Labanan, Sariling Galing ang Kaligtasan.”

Records at the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) regional office showed that in Region 8 only the province of Northern Samar and Southern Leyte were granted the outstanding citation for the distinguished award, it was learned.

Gov. Damian Mercado, chairperson of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC), personally received the award, along with Board Member Virgilio Mortrera, and DRRMO Atienza. (LDL/MMP/PIA Southern Leyte/With reports from Dahlia Orit of RP Sogod/Photo by Atienza)