By Chito Chavez
The country’s local government units (LGUs) were invited to join tomorrow’s (June 29) Nationwide Simultaneous Earthquake Drill (NSED) to minimize casualties and injuries in case disaster strikes.
With the ceremonial venue in Davao City, DILG Officer-in-Charge (OIC) Catalino S. Cuy said that the nationwide drill will test the government’s preparedness to combat extreme difficulties during earthquakes.
He added that the drill will also allow the local disaster risk reduction and management councils (LDRRMCs) to make adjustments in their rescue and emergency operations while at the same time heightening the public’s awareness against earthquake hazards.
“Given today’s challenges, we shall support every activity to ensure that our defenses against disasters are in place and working. LGUs always have the important role of instilling in their constituents the significance of disaster preparedness together with the national government,” says Cuy.
Cuy encouraged the public to take part in the drill along with the department’s information drive dubbed as the Bida ang Handa campaign spearheaded by the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) for the 2017 NSED.
#BidaAngHanda is the official hashtag for this year’s NSED.
The #BidaAngHanda campaign aims to promote public participation and popularize the conduct of the NSED through social media by posting a photo or video reflecting a preparedness activity with the statement “Magda-DUCK-COVER-HOLD kami sa June 29, 2PM! Dahil bida and handa!”
The campaign is expected to stir public attention and disseminate proper knowledge on earthquake preparedness, as well as gauge public perception of the government’s DRRM activities.
The NSED is a National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC)-led activity held quarterly to increase the public’s preparedness against earthquake hazards and to strengthen coordination among government agencies and other stakeholders in the light of a 7.2 magnitude earthquake.
In Quezon City, Councilor Victor Ferrer, Jr. asked the city government to conduct frequent routine workshops to identify the individual and team roles of key personnel in case of adverse eventualities.
He clarified that his call was not meant to sow public panic but to lessen possible casualties should an earthquake of higher magnitude occur in the metropolis in the future.
Ferrer also urged the city government to conduct more earthquake and fire drills citing their necessity with reports revealing that a once in 250 years tremor is bound to hit the country and wipe out 20 percent of Metro Manila.
Aside from the disaster drills, Ferrer said that routine meetings identifying various team and individual roles may come in handy to properly respond to adverse situations evident during sudden natural tragedies and catastrophes.
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