LINGAYEN, Pangasinan – With the support of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC), the Local Government of Mangatarem was able to conduct its first ever earthquake drill at the Municipal Hall recently.
Mangatarem Mayor Ramil Ventenilla, in an interview after the event, thanked Governor Amado “Pogi” I. Espino, III, also the PDRRMC chairman, for helping the town achieve such milestone toward disaster resilience.
“This earthquake drill is the town’s first… that is why we are grateful to PDRRMC for the assistance that they have lent us,” he said.
The municipality’s local chief executive looks forward to a partnership with PDRRMC to involve greater participation and enhance the capacity of the townsfolk in the next simulations.
During the post-drill evaluation, PDRRMC executive officer Rhodyn Luchinvar Oro praised the Mangatarem Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Council for executing an organized drill for a first-timer and urged the members to polish the capability of the team by taking part in the disaster capability augmentation initiatives launched by its provincial counterpart.
“PDRRMC is always here to help you increase your capability. We might as well expand the drills to the community so that we can instill awareness to everyone, especially the vulnerable sector,” Oro pledged on behalf of Gov. Espino.
Oro said that the Mangatarem’s participation in the 3rd Quarter National Simultaneous Earthquake Drill came timely as the town is milled around by several fault lines, which when triggered, could pose thousands of lives to disaster risks.
A day before the drill, PDRRMC oriented the MDRRMC members on the standard operating procedure of mounting shake drills as well as conducting final briefing an hour before the event and post-drill evaluation to help them know what to improve for the next simulations.
Serving as the incident commander during the drill was Municipal Agriculture Officer-in-Charge Benito Jasmin, also the MDRRM officer-designate, who was overwhelmed by the hands-on assistance PDRRMC has offered them.
Tying up with the Provincial and Mangatarem DRRMCs in staging this event are the Philippine National Police, Bureau of Fire Protection and the Mangatarem District Hospital.
By Dexter A. See