Although the municipality of Motiong, Samar have had zero casualty during typhoons for the past years, the people now live in constant uncertainty due to the erratic weather.

Aling Pacita, a resident of Motiong.

The people of Motiong said they were not affected by Yolanda last year. They were not spared, however, by Typhoon Glenda in July. According to Engr. Nicasio Bermejo, the designated DRRM Officer in the municipality, they are usually prepared for typhoons but Glenda arrived a day earlier than expected.

People living along the coast were badly hit, with their homes washed away and only their personal belongings were salvaged. Aling Pacita said that the municipality gives compensation to those whose house were damaged by typhoons but it is not enough. The compensations were given to start rebuilding their houses but most people use it to buy food for their families.

After typhoon Yolanda, Aling Elsa, a resident of Motiong, said that people are now more responsive to disaster risk reduction and management ordinace of the municipality. Everytime the police will tell the people to evacuate the area, they will immediately follow. The municipality officials also did hazard mapping in the area to identifying danger 'no build' zones and green zones.

No build zone

The efforts of Motiong municipality are indeed commendable, although it is evident that a lot more can be done to improve and strengthen their DRRM-CCA mechanisms. Knowing fully well their limitations, the Mayor and Vice Mayor pledged their commitment to enact local policies towards mainstreaming DRRM.

As the major powers continue to battle out global deal on carbon emissions, people who are bearing the brunt of climate change impacts are already taking steps on how they will be spared from calamities to come. Climate inaction is unacceptable for these people. They believe that time is running out for their island communities.

Dee Paje is a staff of Greenpeace Southeast Asia. She's currently at the Climate Walk helping the climate walkers with community engagement. You can follow her on Twitter for more updates about the walk via @deepaje.