City, Province join 2nd nationwide quake drill

Governor Dayanghirang (center) performs the duck, cover, and hold during the second national simultaneous earthquake drill.

CITY OF MATI, DAVAO ORIENTAL— In a bid to inculcate the culture of preparedness among local government units and residents, the Provincial Government of Davao Oriental and City Government of Mati have joined the second quarter Nationwide Simultaneous Earthquake Drill on June 21, 2018.

The City of Mati was the focal point for the conduct of the Earthquake Drill, while the Barangay Dahican Airport served as the alternate command center.

According to the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office Assistant Department Head Francis Jason Bendulo, the drill was conducted in three focus areas within the City which include Barangays Central, and Mayo. Schools, malls, restaurants, and business centers within Mati have also participated.  

Also joined by various government offices, institutions and barangays all over the city, the drill was aimed to ensure that the community is well-prepared and equipped with the knowledge on what to when earthquake strikes.

Governor Dayanghirang, along with the members of the Provincial Peace and Order Council, exits the venue of the meeting during the earthquake drill.

The drill executed the contingency plans and protocols of the city government. Evaluators from the Philippine National Red Cross and other national agencies have observed the conduct of the drill assessing the readiness level of the city in cases of an earthquake calamity.

“It is good that everyone is involved,” said Mr. Edwin Patalagsa of the CSR-DMS, Davao City Chapter.

An exit conference was conducted after the simultaneous drill with evaluators discussing their observations and comments.  

“The totality of the drill was quite good,” Mr. Patalagsa said, emphasizing, however, the need for the general public to become more serious in disaster preparedness.

“We need constant practice. And we have to be more aggressive in doing the orientation,” Catherine Bijis of the Philippine Red Cross, Davao Oriental Chapter suggested during the giving of ways forward.

Governor Nelson Dayanghirang, who also participated during the drill, said that considering it is difficult to know precisely where the next disaster will strike, there is a need to be prepared for future shocks.

The Governor last week has signed a memorandum of agreement together with Undersecretary of the Department of Science and Technology and OIC of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology Renato Solidum, Jr.; Office of Civil Defense Regional Director Manuel Luis Otchortorena, and DOST Provincial Director Sharon Alegado, for the conduct of the Rapid Earthquake Damage Assessment System (REDAS) Training.

The program will train key personnel in the use of a database system that predicts severity and the damage that an earthquake will cause in terms of population, economic, etc. By Shaye N. Dacles

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