MABALACAT CITY -- More than 500 persons with disabilities (PWDs) and senior citizens participated in an emergency preparedness forum hosted by SM City Clark.
SM City mall manager Andrea Madlangbayan said SM Supermalls and SM Cares decided to conduct its first disaster forum for PWDs and seniors outside Metro Manila, following the strong earthquake last April which affected Pampanga and other parts of Central Luzon.
“This is very timely after what happened in Pampanga which claimed the lives of many of our kabalens during a strong earthquake,” Madlangbayan said.
Dr. Arturo Daag, chief science research specialist of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs), said the Philippines is prone to disasters like earthquakes because it is situated in the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire.
Earthquakes are caused by the movement of the earth’s surface originating from tectonic plates and volcanic eruption.
Daag said it is important to have a disaster and evacuation plan in order to be prepared during disasters.
Dr. Ted Esguerra of the International Disaster Response Network, meanwhile, taught the PWDs and senior citizens the proper way of responding to emergency situations.
He urged the participants to always protect themselves at all times and never panic to avoid being injured.
Madlangbayan thanked the local government units of Mabalacat City and Angeles City, and the special education unit of the Department of Education, for supporting the event.
Also present during the forum was Danilo Chavez, program head of SM Cares.