Palace encourages public to join in Metro-wide earthquake drill

MALACAÑANG urged Wednesday the public to participate in the simultaneous earthquake drill in Metro Manila on Thursday.

Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said that the drill would be "good and beneficial" for everyone to be trained as to how to respond in a situation like an earthquake.

"We will just ask the public to cooperate in the exercise," he said.

The holding of the synchronized Metro-wide earthquake drill was contained in Memorandum Circular No. 79 signed by Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. on July 24.

"All heads of government departments, bureaus and offices, including Government-Owned or -Controlled Corporations, and LGUs (local government units), are enjoined to authorize and encourage their respective officials and employees to participate in the synchronized Metro Manila wide earthquake drill," the MC said.

"Further, they are accorded discretion to exempt their officials and employees, who are part of such effort, from observing regular office hours and/or from performing their duties, without prejudice to the regular and efficient delivery of government services, subject to applicable laws, rules and regulations," it added.

"The private sector, including volunteer and civic organizations, is hereby encouraged to participate and assist in the implementation of the MC as the exigencies and circumstances may require, Ochoa said.

The Supreme Court will participate in the drill.

In a statement, the SC Public Information Office said sub-teams of the SC Emergency Response Team (SC ERT) will be guiding the estimated 2,100 SC employees out of the SC compound in Padre Faura, Manila to the evacuation area at Paco Park.

"During the drill, some SC buildings will be preparing for hypothetical scenarios as a consequence of an earthquake, such as an explosion in the cafeteria. Some ERT members will also be acting as victims who are either unconscious, injured or dead," the Court said.

The command post, treatment area, salvage area and evacuation area will all be posted at the Paco Park.

The earthquake drill will take place from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

A 30-second audio recording will be played in public announcement systems to signal the start of the drill.

(SDR/Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)

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