Increased public, private sector efforts to mitigate quake damage

By Priam Nepomuceno

May 31, 2023, 10:10 am

<p><em>(File photo)</em></p>

(File photo)

MANILA – The Office of Civil Defense (OCD) underscored the need for further cooperation between the private and public sectors to mitigate the possible damage that could be caused by a massive earthquake.

OCD administrator Undersecretary Ariel Nepomuceno made the call as he urged the public to participate in the second quarter National Simultaneous Earthquake Drill (NSED) scheduled on June 8.

“We want to emphasize once more the importance of the whole-of-nation approach in disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM). In this earthquake preparedness activity, we advocate for a united effort between the government, the private sector, and the public,” he said.

Nepomuceno, who is also National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) executive director, said the NSED aims to "continuously strengthen" the country’s earthquake preparedness.

“We are inviting everyone to join the drill and do the Duck-Cover-Hold technique at the sounding of the siren as part of our continuing effort to build community preparedness for earthquake emergencies," he added.

The Mandaluyong City government will host the ceremonial pressing of the button and the full-scale exercise focusing on a 7.2 magnitude earthquake scenario.

The activity will be held in Greenfield District, Mandaluyong City.

The exercise will test Mandaluyong City’s earthquake emergency plans, through a demonstration of response capabilities, command and control, and interoperability of rescue teams.

Participating organizations include the Office of the City Mayor, City DRRM Office, Public Information Department, Mandaluyong City Medical Center, City Health Department, Barangay Responders and Volunteers, Bureau of Fire Protection - Mandaluyong, Philippine National Police - Mandaluyong, Greenfield District Management, Philippine Red Cross - Mandaluyong Chapter, and High Threat Emergency Care.

Meanwhile, the NDRRMC reiterated its call on academic institutions, business establishments, government offices, and all households to strictly observe minimum public health standards when conducting evacuation drills.

The second quarter NSED will be live-streamed through Civil Defense PH and NDRRMC Facebook pages.

The program starts at 8 a.m. with the ceremonial pressing of the button to follow at exactly 9 a.m.

New OCD executives sworn in

Meanwhile, Department of National Defense chief Carlito Galvez Jr. on Tuesday administered the oaths of newly appointed third-level officials of the OCD.

These newly appointed officials are Eugene Gardon Cabrera, Cesar Malanum Idio, Raylindo Salasayo Aniñon, Ramon Martinez Ochotorena, Claudio Lopena Yucot, and Jose Harry Mariano Barber, all with the rank of director.

In his congratulatory message, Galvez said he trusts that they would make a profound impact on the national disaster risk reduction and management effort.

“The rainy season is here and I am sure they will soon hit the ground running. I have full confidence in their notable leadership and managerial skills,” he said.

Meanwhile, Nepomuceno underscored the crucial responsibility of the OCD in spearheading the national effort on disaster risk reduction and management.

“We, as public servants, are expected to remain at the height of readiness, foresight, and responsiveness. We cannot deliver basic social services to the affected and vulnerable sectors in times of crises if we lack these qualities,” he said in his message.

He assured stakeholders that they are constantly improving their DRM services. (PNA)