Bontoc joins 2nd Quarter NSED

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BONTOC, Mountain Province – The municipality of Bontoc participated in the 2nd Quarter National Simultaneous Earthquake Drill (NSED) at 9:00 in the morning of June 20, 2021.

The participants were clients, officials, and employees of the Bontoc Local Government Unit (LGU) and the national government agencies with offices located at Bontoc Municipal Capitol.

During “shake drills”, participants are expected to properly execute the six steps necessary to do during an earthquake. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the third phase which is the evacuation phase, and the fourth phase (assembly at the designated evacuation area) were suspended to prevent possible exposure to the virus.

With this, the participants were assessed based on their execution of the other steps not temporarily suspended.

First is the alarm such as the siren or bell, as a prearranged signal that indicates the occurrence of an earthquake or ground shaking.

The second is the response. While the siren or bell is ongoing, everyone shall move away from windows, glass, or lights. It is also in this phase that everyone shall perform the “duck, cover, and hold” under desks, tables, or chairs and remain in this position until the ground shaking stops.

The fifth phase is the headcount wherein the head of the office shall check and make sure that employees and clients are all accounted for.

Per observation by the evaluators, some employees of the Bontoc LGU properly executed the “duck, cover, and hold technique” and moved away from the windows, cabinet and electrical lights.

However, some participants did not properly execute the “duck, cover, and hold technique”, some continued with what they were doing, some acted surprise as this was unannounced, and some did not perform the headcount. Aside from these, evaluators relayed that there were participants who were ambivalent, even dismissive when asked to participate in the drill.

All the observations were relayed by the evaluators to the concerned offices. During the Post-evaluation held at the Bontoc Emergency Operations Center, suggestions were made to improve the earthquake preparedness of the public.

It was agreed that the observations on the performance of the participants would be relayed during the Monday Flag Raising Ceremony on June 14, 2021, and during the conduct of the Information Education and Communication (IEC) Campaign for the public’s readiness before, during, and after an earthquake.

Bontoc Mayor Franklin Odsey in an interview remarked that the conduct of quarterly earthquake drills is necessary as it intensifies readiness, awareness, and responsiveness of the public. He enjoined the cooperation of all sectors to take the activity seriously.

Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Officer Johanna Padaen extended her gratitude to all the offices and agencies that assessed the participants stressing that their recommendations are of great help to improve the earthquake preparedness of the community. The workforce during the earthquake drill are personnel from the Bontoc Municipal Fire Station, Bontoc Municipal Police Station (MPS), Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), and some employees of the Bontoc LGU.

The NSED is a regular activity spearheaded by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) which is cascaded down to local DRRMs to promote a culture of safety awareness and foresight among all people. By Alpine L. Killa

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