A PANICKED voice announced on the radio that the ground was shaking during an early morning emergency evacuation drill at the Cebu Business Park (CBP) yesterday.
Some 7,457 persons ran for safety in the annual park-wide drill organized by the (CBP) that tested the employees’ skills of 46 companies to respond to earthquakes and fires.
“An incident like an earthquake could happen without warning. Way maayong taw ana. Nakita gud nato nga improper ang handling of patients (No one is spared. We saw that there was an improper handling of patients),” Joy Hernandez of the plans and training department of the Office of Civil Defense said during the evaluation after the drill.
Hernandez noted that one company lacks a medical response plan, and left their “injured” behind.
Medical response was one of the concerns raised during the evaluation. The CBP will address this by providing skills training to responders of every company.
Meanwhile, construction workers of a residential tower were commended for their organized evacuation by doing the drop/duck, cover and hold SOP (standard operating procedure).
In an ocular inspection during the simultaneous drill, Hernandez pointed out that the CBP only has a few free spaces, which could be used as evacuation points.
“We don’t have enough evacuation areas. Naay ubang buildings nga ni-evacuate dinha ra sa ilang kilid (Some were evacuated right next to the building they work in),” she said.
A mall at the CBP also participated in the drill and reenacted immediate response to the wounded.
Juan Tormis, CBP administrator, urged their tenants, especially from the business process outsourcing (BPO), to participate in the drill, which was implemented six years ago.
“This is to assure our building occupants that they will be safe during an emergency. We understand that most of them are BPOs, so their operation is critical. Our only request is that they fully participate in the next drills because they have the biggest work force,” he said.
“They have to enhance their skills during emergency and fully equip their resources,” he added.
Anna Obando, a responder from the Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (CDRRMO), encouraged buildings’ occupants to treat the drill seriously.
“Kuwang sila’g medical kits niya kuwang og seminar ilang responders (They lack medicals kits and their responders need more training),” she said.
The Philippine Red Cross, the Bureau of Fire Protection 7, the CDRRMO and police worked hand-in-hand to control and manage tenants during the evacuation.