|DUCK, COVER AND HOLD! An earthquake drill participant performs the required protocol during the 1st Quarter NSED on 31 March 2017.|
The siren goes off and everyone at the DOLE Laguna Provincial Office sought for a safe spot to “duck, cover and hold.” It is better to be safe than sorry when an earthquake comes shaking up the place. This has been the advocacy of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) in promoting awareness as much as preparedness in times of unforeseen circumstances.
DOLE LPO OIC Guido R. Recio upon instruction from Regional Director Ma. Zenaida A. Angara-Campita gave the go signal to the DOLE Laguna Provincial Safety Committee to gear up for the First Quarter “Bida ang Handa Campaign” launched by the Office of the Civil Defense (OCD). It is noteworthy that the OCD has been soliciting support from agencies across the country to participate in the 1ST Quarter National Simultaneous Earthquake Drill (NSED).
On 31 March 2017, DOLE IV-A Laguna Provincial Office conducted an earthquake drill in solidarity with the NSED at exactly 2:00 p.m. There were over 40 participants who got their work in a freeze to go on with the drill including provincial office employees, ACESI Regional Meeting attendees and regular clients. All this has been simulated accordingly by DOLE IV-A Safety Committee Members Marc Brian Torres and Ryan Flores who staged and spearheaded the drill.
While the first siren marked the “duck, cover and hold” procedure, the second siren marked the exit of employees from the building. The participants, though in a simulated state of panic, hurriedly went out of the office in an orderly manner as orchestrated by marshals. As soon as they reached the assembly area, there was a headcount to ensure everyone was accounted for.
It turned out that one participant was left in the establishment and secured himself to a strong fixture for cover.
In the end, LPO OIC Recio has this to say, “We do not know when an earthquake drill will take place but with the advocacy of preparedness by the OCD, I am confident that LPO staff and clients who participated will know what to do in such events.”
While fortuitous events, let alone an earthquake, can’t be prevented from happening, its impact is nonetheless manageable with risk reduction management practices. It is noteworthy that an earthquake hit Calabarzon on 4 April 2017 and a stronger one followed after four days. Unfortunately, the quake left the province of Batangas with infrastructural damage worth Php18 Million according to Batangas Governor Hermilando Mandanas in a radio interview.
RUDYBOY R. SINAY
Senior LEO/LCO LPO