Israel to conduct workshop on disaster preparedness

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Friday, February 14, 2014


AFTER providing medical assistance in areas devastated by Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), a team from Israel will return to Cebu to conduct a disaster-preparedness workshop for officials from different government sectors.

Israel Ambassador to the Philippines Menashe Bar-On visited Gov. Hilario Davide III and informed him about the workshop yesterday.

Bar-on was accompanied by Honorary Consul to Israel Emily Chioson.

Based on a press statement, the workshop will be about response principles and decision-making in tactical and operational level on disaster and mass casualty incidents.

According to the official website of the Capitol, the program is worth US$30,000, but it will be at no cost to the Province.

Three Israeli disaster-preparedness experts will conduct the five-day Disaster and Mass Casualty Incident Preparedness and Management workshop, which will start on March 2.

Up for discussion

Bar-on said the workshop will involve provincial and local disaster risk reduction and management officers, members of the army, police, fire brigade and hospital staff.

Among the topics that will be discussed are national disaster response, event site management, command and control in disaster, media and mass communication in disaster, triage and medical management in disaster, forensic medicine, and victim’s identification and legal consideration.

Aside from lectures, the workshop will also have table top drills and simulations.

“It is something we believe that if disaster happens in the future, the coordination, how to do, where to be, which language to speak between each other, it can save more lives,” Bar-on said.

Davide said he instructed Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Officer Neil Angelo Sanchez to coordinate with the Israel Embassy.

“Pasalamat ta sa (We thank the) Israeli Government, to Ambassador Bar-on, for sharing
their knowledge and expertise,” the governor said.

Few weeks after Yolanda struck last Nov. 8, the Israeli Defense Forces set up a field hospital in Bogo City to help injured survivors.

They also left their equipment when they left the country.

Bar-on also inspected the condemned Cebu City Medical Center (CCMC) to see how his government can help in its rebuilding.

In his regular news conference yesterday, Mayor Michael Rama said Bar-on took a look at the CCMC, which sustained heavy damage and was declared unfit for occupancy after the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that struck Cebu and Bohol last Oct. 15.

Rama, who accompanied Bar-on, said he was able to brief the ambassador on what happened to the hospital.

Urgent matter

He said the ambassador was only able to see the damage outside, adding that he did not allow the latter to enter as it was dangerous.

The mayor also brought the ambassador to the City’s temporary hospital at the Bureau of Fire Protection.

Meanwhile, Rama said he wants to meet members of the legislative body so the City can already identify funds to cover the cost of the building of a new hospital.

The new hospital will be a five-story building that can accommodate 409 beds. It’s expected to cost at least P1 billion.

The City has already raised some P11 million for the project through its “Piso Mo, Hospital Ko” fund drive.

Rama reminded the council that the matter is urgent, after learning that the project’s site development plan has not yet been approved.

In its Feb. 12 session, Councilor Lea Japson withdrew her resolution that seeks to approve the site development plan, saying the CCMC ad hoc committee still has to comply with more paper work.

The mayor said the committee should comply with all requirements before work on the project starts.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 14, 2014.

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