Cordillera toughens anti-disaster drive

IN LINE with the National Disaster Resilience Month, the Cordillera Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (CRDRRMC) conducted the first Search and Rescue (SAR) Convention in the region during the weekend.

North Luzon Command of Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) commander Romeo Tanalgo said the convention with the theme “4K: Kamalayan sa Kahandaan, Katumbas ay Kaligtasan” at Melvin Jones, aims to promote leveled-up readiness among disaster response teams. Tanalgo added three points highlight the leveled-up preparedness.

The first point is in preparation for the next “Big One,” which he said does not refer solely to the earthquake predicted to hit Manila, but also big disasters. The second point is an authentic leveling of commitment, wherein multiple agencies would coordinate and cooperate with each other for a more efficient SAR operation.

The third point is to empower operators in disaster response teams.

Tanalgo said there are capability gaps that must be bridged and overridden in order to come up with good preparedness plans. He also added that there is no single model of a preparedness plan to fit all operations and locations.

“We need to explore culture-fit plans especially here in the Cordillera where the topographical make-up is different from other places,” Tanalgo added.

A skills demonstration of multiple disaster response agencies by the Bureau of Fire and Protection, K9 Search and Rescue Unit, Emergency Medical Services Baguio, PMA Rescue, Baguio Fire Station, and the Baguio Police also conducted a SAR simulation.

Several DRRMC from all over the Cordillera provinces and city were also present in the convention and participated in the exhibition of SAR equipment. (Jenny Alexis Caburian, UP Baguio Intern/SunStar Baguio)
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