May 20, 2024

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OCD seeks to enhance conduct of NSED; set to simulate various scenario exercises

OCD Administrator, Undersecretary Ariel Nepomuceno

The Office of Civil Defense (OCD) is exploring various earthquake scenario exercises for the succeeding Nationwide Simultaneous Earthquake Drill (NSED) as it seeks to improve the conduct of the drill to advance the preparedness of the public. This was announced during the First Quarter NSED today at Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City.

“Subukan din nating magsanay nang gabi na mangyayari ‘yung lindol. Mapapansin niyo yung halos lahat ng mga pagsasanay natin ay office hours. Sa gabi, tanggapin natin na lahat halos ng government officials, national and local ay nasa kabahayan ‘yan. So mag-practice din tayo nang gabi. [Kung] papaano ‘yun? Iniisip natin na i-level up. Gagawa tayo ng iba’t ibang scenarios para hindi lang yung duck cover and hold, so that we can really test the preparations,” OCD Administrator, Undersecretary Ariel Nepomuceno said.

National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) Chair and Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr. supported this, citing scenarios that can be simulated for the next earthquake drills.

“Isa ring nakikita namin, maaaring magkaroon ng pinsala, alas sais ng gabi, nasa lansangan lahat ng vehicles, bus, mass transportation systems at dito gusto natin i-check yung kaligtasan. Kung nasa lansangan, i-check natin ang integrity ng mga tulay kasi kung sa lansangan mismo, hindi gaanong peligroso kung walang bumagsak na mga gusali. ‘Yun nga lang makakaapekto ito sa pagresponde natin kasi walang madadaanan ang ating mga first responders. Bagama’t ganoon, gumagawa rin ang mga MMDA ng mga alternative routes kung saan pwede dumaan ang ating mga emergency responders.” Sec. Teodoro said.

“Lahat po itong scenarios ay iwa-war game po natin upang sa ganoon, we get some theoretical notion of how to respond. Pero ang pinakaimportante, ang ating mga barangay disaster risk reduction management council, alerto din sa pagplano sa kanilang mga barangay, based on their features. So, patuloy na exercise po ito at malaking trabaho po ito.” he added.

The NDRRMC Chair also reiterated the need for a strengthened campaign on preparedness, instructing OCD to ramp up related initiatives.

“After duck cover and hold, what do we do? Of course, normally maghihintay tayo sa mga barangay officials natin, sa mga teachers natin, sa mga safety officers natin. Pero ano ang ating gagawin for the following days, [paano] kung nasa lansangan siya, kung nasa bus station siya? Ano ang dapat na mga senyales [signal] na hahanapin niya after duck, cover, and hold, that is very very valuable suggestion, na palalawakin namin ang mga guide, na hindi na lamang duck, cover, and hold. May dagdag na step one, duck cover hold: hanap kay teacher, hanap kay safety officer, hanap kay kung sino man. Ngayon, kung nasa lansangan or area na na-caught ang isang tao sa lugar na hindi nakasanayan niya, what should this person do? That is what I’m asking the OCD to work on, for more awareness for everyone.” he said.

Meanwhile, a camp-wide evacuation drill was conducted, followed by communication exercises to demonstrate and test the government’s coordination mechanisms in the event of a Magnitude 7.2 earthquake due to the movement of the West Valley Fault.

The ceremonial pressing of the button was also attended by Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology Director Teresito Bacolcol, Department of Social Welfare and Development Usec. Dianne Cajipe, Department of the Interior and Local Government Assistant Secretary Elizabeth Lopez De Leon, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority Usec. Procopio Lipana, and Armed Forces of the Philippines – Philippine Army Lieutenant General Arthur Cordura.

Department of Science and Technology Sec. Renato Solidum Jr. also extended his support through a recorded message.

The OCD quarterly holds NSED to strengthen the earthquake preparedness of various sectors.