DOST EXEC: ‘WE NEED TO PREPARE TOGETHER’
DEPARTMENT of Science and Technology (DOST) Undersecretary for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Dr. Renato U. Solidum, Jr. emphasized the importance of earthquake drill for disaster preparation in the country during the mock exercise which is now happening in Iloilo City.
“We need to prepare together because one city affected by the earthquake will indirectly affect other parts of the country,” Solidum said.
The drill aims to showcase how national and local government agencies and other key stakeholders work together in preparing for and responding to disasters such as an 8.2-magnitude earthquake.
The Usec further told the Ilonggo audience that the earthquake cannot be avoided and thus a need to prepare.
Dr. Solidum ended his speech saying “Together if we prepare, we will be safe”.
Meanwhile in a radio interview, the head of Iloilo City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, Donna Magno said that Iloilo City was chosen by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) as the pilot area for the first quarter nationwide simultaneous earthquake drill (NSED) for 2019 because of its historical record that it has experienced a very strong earthquake.
Five impact areas were identified during the drill – John B. Lacson Foundation Maritime University (JBLFMU)-Arevalo campus in cooperation with Barangay Santo Nino Sur, SM City Iloilo, Megaworld, Iloilo Mission Hospital, and the Iloilo City Hall.
Everyone was encouraged to do the duck, cover and hold approach during the nationwide earthquake drill which was preceded by a ceremonial program at the Dinagyang Grandstand.
Other government officials who witnessed the drill were Office of the Civil Defense Executive Director and Undersecretary Ricardo Jalad, Department of National Defense Usec. for Civil, Veterans and Retirees Affairs Reynaldo Mapagu, Disaster Response Management Group of DSWD Usec Feliciano Bodiungan, Usec. for Peace and Order of DILG Bernardo Florece, Governor Arthur Defensor; and Mayor Jose Espinosa III.
The DOST plays a crucial role in terms of providing information related to weather and geological hazards in the Philippines, mainly through its agencies Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) and the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS), respectively.