THE Mandaue City Government has been training its disaster personnel in 27 barangays, letting them participate in basic life support and evacuation drills in cases of emergency situations.
Felix Suico Jr., chief of the City’s Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (DRRMO), said his office prepared the barangay personnel to be always ready as they are first to respond to earthquake situations and other disasters—fire incidents, floods and typhoons.
The series of earthquakes that hit parts of Mindanao serves as a lesson to local government units to always prepare for the worst-case scenario.
As to the Department of Education (DepEd) 7, its personnel have been teaching basic survival tips to students and teachers, according to senior high school coordinator Isaiash Wagas.
The Disaster Readiness and Risk Reduction (DRRR) subject is part of the senior high school curricula.
The topics under the DRRR subject include the hazards during an earthquake and eruption of a volcano, among others. In Central Visayas, Mt. Kanlaon in Negros Island is the only active stratovolcano; it erupted for 12 minutes on March 29, 2016, producing volcanic plume 1,500 meters above its crater.
Wagas said there are schools that need to be relocated as these are located in mountain villages that are prone to the occurence of landslide.
He said the DepEd 7 personnel visited a school in Sogod, a northern Cebu town. They found out that the school is in danger as it sits beside a slope.
Wagas said there is a plan to abandon the school. However, he said relocating the students would mean there is a need to construct a new infrastructure.
In Mandaue City, Suico said his office also extended its disaster preparedness campaign to public and private schools. The DRRMO personnel distributed copies of manual on how the students and teachers can prepare for disasters.
“Our city is not exempted to any disaster. That’s why the public should be very vigilant, especially those who live in hazard-prone areas. There must be a coordination between the local government unit and its constituents in implementing the plans,” he said.
Suico said the DRRMO encouraged the barangays to profile their residents, including doctors and nurses, as they could be tapped during emergency situations.
The DRRMO, he said, has a stock of relief goods that could be distributed in time of disasters in coordination with the City Social Welfare and Services. (KFD, WBS)