ZAMBOANGA CITY – Some 200 civil employees and local government officials led by Mayor Beng Climaco participated in an earthquake drill as part of disaster preparedness.
The activity, the first to be held at City Hall, was spearheaded by the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO). It also tested how fast responders can evacuate officials and personnel whose functions are crucial in running the affairs of the local government in case of an emergency situation.
Among the government officials who joined the drill were Treasurer Soledad Li, Budget Officer Virginia Gara, Accountant Sylvia Binarao, Engineer Luis Despalo and Legal Officer Jesus Carbon. They were swiftly evacuated to the rendezvous in Cabatangan village.
Different scenarios were simulated such as building evacuation, fire, apprehension of intruders, first aid treatment, and search and rescue operations for missing and wounded employees among others.
CDRRMO head Dr. Elmeir Apolinario acted as the incident commander and was stationed at the command post set up at the Plaza General Vicente Alvarez where all incident planning and tactical operations were directed.
Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology-Zamboanga head Engr. Allan Labayog said the exercise was successful. “In less than 15 minutes, the officials were evacuated to Cabatangan and there was synchronization of activities as each agency knew what to do,” he said, adding that the result of the activity was beyond expectation.
The drill was participated by the Zamboanga City Police Office, Fire Department, Task Force Zamboanga, the Search and Rescue and Emergency Medical Team, Philippine Red Cross-Zamboanga Chapter and other response teams, and building safety inspection team of the City Engineer’s Office, communication groups, the City Security Unit and the CDRRMO and numerous others. Observers from the Office of Civil Defense evaluated the exercise. (By Sheila Covarrubias. With reports from E. Dumaboc and Chelsea Rebollos)
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