The municipality of San Francisco in the Camotes Island, Cebu bagged the grand prize of $25,000 from the 2011 United Nations Sasakawa Award for Disaster Risk Reduction for strengthening its disaster preparedness program.
The other city winners that received $12,500 each on 11 May during the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction held in Geneva were Argentina and Canada, according to the The UN News Center.
The town in Central Philippines was proclaimed the winner for being innovative in the use of its "Purok (Region) system" where villagers voluntarily contribute money to bank account to help release emergency funds for victims of natural disasters such as typhoons and floods that happen frequently in the country.
Information dissemination and risk assessments are done using mobile phones and radios. The Purok coordinators are the ones who send out the information to villagers.
Argentina's Santa Fe and Canada's Vancouver were the other two cities that won the award.
The other innovations that were recognized were India's Bhubaneswar city, Pakistan's Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority, Guatemala's Coordination Centre for Natural Disaster Prevention.
Established in 1986, the UN Sasakawa Award for Disaster Reduction was founded by a Japanese businessman and philanthropist Ryoichi Sasakawa—the founding chairman of the Nippon Foundation. The other awards given by the Sasakawa Foundation are the WHO's Sasakawa Health Prize and the UN Environment Programme's Sasakawa Environment Prize.
Details of this report here.