Posted on: Friday July 26, 2019


CamSur PDRRMC, Naga CDRRMC and Sipocot MDRRMC conduct joint simulation exercise for ‘The Big One’
As a highlight of the Provincial Government of Camarines Sur’s celebration of the National Disaster Resilience Month 2019, the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) conducted a 24-hour simulation exercise for the West Valley Fault 7.2 magnitude earthquake, also called ‘The Big One’. The simulation exercise held on July 24-25, 2019 at Naga City and Sipocot was a joint activity between the CamSur PDRRMC, Naga City DRRMC, and Sipocot MDRRMC.

Naga City was staged as Taguig City, which is the area assigned for augmentation and assistance of CamSur PDRRMC in case The Big One transpires. Meanwhile, Naga City is assigned to augment and assist Pateros during The Big One. The participants of the SIMEX proceeded to Sipocot on July 25, 2019, to depict the incidents and test their response to the potential scenarios of CALABARZON during The Big One.

To effectively assist Taguig City and Pateros, the PDRRMC has decided to immediately jumpstart the preparations to test the level of its current preparedness in responding to catastrophic disaster along with Naga City. The Joint Simulation Exercise for The Big One featured collapsed structure, high angle rescue, vehicle rescue, and many other incidents staged along Peñafrancia Avenue in Naga City.

Aiming to support the national government’s goal of building safer, adaptive, and disaster-resilient Filipino communities towards sustainable development, the simulation exercise engaged more than 600 participants from 39 member agencies and organizations, as well as all C/MDRRMO’s of the province.

 

The simulation exercise tested the skills, inter-operability, and multi-agency coordination between the response units of the province, in the hopes of evaluating and assessing its capacity to augment the rescue units of Taguig City, while maintaining the safety and security of the people in Camarines Sur when the 7.2 magnitude earthquake happens.

Aside from assessing the readiness for response to The Big One, the PDRRMC also aims to determine the baseline for capacity building, not only for The Big One but also for Local Response of great magnitude and to identify gaps in the contingency plans for improved response and enhanced coordination.

After the simulation exercise, Rachelle Anne Miranda, the Deputy Spokesperson of the Office of Civil Defense who is tasked as evaluator said, “Based on our initial evaluation, there are several best practices in terms of capabilities, response, and inter-operability of the council. To tell you honestly, this is the first of its kind in the whole country wherein a council initiated a SIMEX intended for another region.”

 

She added, “Camsur PDRRMC is really putting forward something not just for its own sake, but for other regions and it’s a good sign of how they would want to become resilient.” Miranda also highlighted the use of Incident Command System being practiced throughout the simulation exercise.

Acting as the Incident Commander, Superintendent Achilles Santiago, the BFP Camsur Provincial Fire Marshall shared, “As our mandate to assist the local government in terms of response, I’ve seen the eagerness of every agency and the empowerment of the local DRRM responders through the simulation exercise. There is synergy indeed!”

Santiago also stressed that it is an eye-opener for everyone not to be hesitant in asking for help and assistance if it is for the safety of the general public.

Prior to the simulation exercise, CamSur PDRRMC has already convened the PDRRMC members and City/Municipal DRRMOs for the formulation of the province-wide disaster response protocol and standard operating procedures on Mass Casualty Incident, sudden on-set, and slow on-set hazards.

 

Written By: Estel Lenwij Estropia

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