THE City Government, through the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO), will conduct a series of emergency drills starting next week to better understand the city's preparedness in responding to disasters, both natural and human-induced.

Dr. Elmeir Jade Apolinario, CDRRMO chief, said they have planned out the details of the drills in a meeting with the city's department heads, representatives of the Bureau of Fire Prevention BFP), Zamboanga City Police Office (ZCPO) and other concerned stakeholders.

Apolinario said the emergency drill was held in response to the directive from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) encouraging local government units (LGUs) to hold drills in preparation for natural and man-made disasters.

The first of the series of drills will be conducted simultaneously at all local government offices at an undisclosed date next week and will be signaled by the sounding of the siren of City Hall during office hours.

Apolinario said they decided not to announce the exact date and time the emergency drills will be held to better gauge the effectiveness of the City Government's disaster response and identify the lapses during the drills.

He urged the department heads to remind their respective personnel to take the drills very seriously, as the exercise may save their lives. (Bong Garcia)