BAGUIO CITY -– Office of Civil Defense (OCD) Undersecretary Alexander Pama signed and issued a memorandum to all OCD Regional Offices to participate in the 1st Quarter Nationwide Simultaneous Earthquake Drill on March 31.

In reply to the memorandum, the Cordillera Region Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (CRDRRMC) led by OCD-Cordillera Regional Director Alex Uy enjoined the local DRRMCs to spearhead the conduct of a multi-stakeholder earthquake drill to be participated in by the line agency offices, local government units and the private sector.

On March 3, Baguio City Mayor Mauricio Domogan issued Administrative Order (AO) Numbered 22 “activating and implementing the incident command as well as testing the city’s preparedness and response schemes.”

The AO enjoins the different sectors to participate in the Nationwide Earthquake Drill on March 31 at 10:30 am.

Baguio City is tapped to serve as a pilot area in the major disaster risk reduction and management activity of the OCD in coordination with the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (CDRRMC).

This exercise will cover the entire city including the 128 barangays and will be as close to reality as possible by projecting real-life scenarios to instill earthquake preparedness in the consciousness of the residents.

In an organizational meeting last March 2 attended by representatives from the city government, line agencies, businessmen, public utility firms and other stakeholders, Uy presided over the discussion preliminary details to ensure the smooth conduct of the activity.

Uy said the drill aims to familiarize the people with the duck-cover-hold technique and the evacuation plans and procedures and to test the preparedness of the city for the eventuality of a powerful temblor.

The AO tasked the Association of Barangay Councils (ABCs) to activate all barangay disaster councils while other line agencies and city government offices along with the business groups, law enforcement and military institutions and media were directed to enforce their own disaster rescue plans.

To effect a true-to-life no-lifeline scenario, utility companies were requested to cut their services for at least 15 minutes.

The 1st Quarter Nationwide Simultaneous Earthquake Drill will be launched in Clark Airbase, Pampanga. PNA/northboundasia.com