Different government line agencies, public and private institutions, and establishments in Mountain Province are currently preparing for the 1st quarterly National Simultaneous Earthquake Drill (NSED) for this year set on March 12,2020 at 2pm.
Engineer Paul Lengwa, Mountain Province-Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (MP – PDRRMO) Operations and Warning Officer, emphasized the importance of everyone’s participation in disaster preparedness activities like the NSED. “These are disaster preparedness measures. Maararamid daytoy tapno ammo tayo ti ikasta during calamities and disasters. At least haan tayo nga agpanic (These are disaster preparedness measures. We do these measures for us to know what to do during calamities and disasters. At least, we won’t panic),” said Lengwa.
In the previous years, the MP-PDRRMO handled the NSED in Bontoc while coordinating and monitoring the schools, establishments, government and non-government offices in the whole province. This year, they will still coordinate and monitor the whole province. However, they will let all the municipalities be in-charge of their own earthquake drill. Further, MP-PDRRMO will be pilot testing an out of town monitoring starting in the Municipality of Sadanga.
With the out of town monitoring, the MP-PDRRMO hopes to see the preparations of each municipality in times of disaster. Lengwa added that this will put to test the skills and knowledge of the local responders which they have learned from the Basic Life Support Training, Emergency Responder’s Training, Incident Command System Training and Contingency Planning they have undergone.
Meanwhile, the education sector have already set their preparations by coordinating with different agencies such as the Bureau of Fire Protection in the conduct of NSED in the 256 schools around Mountain Province. According to Leila Abad, Disaster Risk Reduction focal person of Department of Education (DepEd) – Schools Division of Mountain Province, all schools are required to have an evacuation plan for disasters.
NSED is a quarterly activity which aims to raise public awareness on disaster preparedness and test the capacities of the whole of society to respond to earthquake particularly in terms of ensuring the safety of communities through well-organized evacuation and response. Nationally, it is spearheaded by the Office of Civil Defense and the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council in collaboration with the different line agencies and organizations. Locally, the program is headed by the MP – PDRRMO. This activity now runs on its fifth year.
By Vic Arthur Masliyan