Check-in mandate for Maco search, rescue operations

Check-in mandate for Maco search, 
rescue operations
Philippine Coast Guard

AN OFFICIAL from the Incident Command Post (ICP) in Maco, Davao de Oro, emphasized the importance of volunteers checking in before joining the search, rescue, and retrieval operation. 

Engr. Ariel Capoy, speaking during Budyong Online on Saturday morning, February 10, 2024, stated that checking in at the ICP, located at the sub-municipal hall, is mandatory for all volunteers, regardless of their affiliations.

Capoy clarified that the check-in procedure is essential for accountability and proper organization. 

Volunteers, including those from agencies like the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) and the Office of the Civil Defense-Davao Region (OCD-Davao), must register at the ICP. This ensures proper division based on operational periods and prevents overcrowding at ground zero.

The need for checking in arose when some rescue teams were denied entry to ground zero.

He explained that the command structure was established to maintain order, especially as they created a staging area between Masara and Mainit for Search and Rescue (SAR) teams. 

“Kasi yung mga naka check in dun, we are accountable for that in case something happens to them (Those who checked in there, we are accountable for them in case something happens),” he said.

Engr. Ferdinand Dubli, incident commander of APEX Mining, added that control over the number of volunteers is crucial due to limited space and ongoing safety concerns. 

“Kino-control lang natin yung entry dahil nga limited ang space. Wala pa tayong na establish na mga safe refuge na pag meron disgrasya, pag mayron occurrence ng another landslide wala pang na establish na safe refuge. Walang matatakbuhan ang ating mga responders (We only control the entry because the space is limited. We have not yet established safe refuges that when there is an accident, when there is an occurrence of another landslide there is still no established safe refuge. Our responders have nowhere to run),” Dubli said.

He underscored that volunteers are categorized based on skills and tools, with designated areas for their missions. 

There haven't been instances of volunteers being sent home for not checking in; instead, on-duty volunteers have requested relief due to exhaustion, highlighting the importance of the shifting schedule.

The shifting schedule, divided into morning and afternoon shifts, ensures that responders do not become immediately fatigued and have adequate time for rest. RGP

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