By Jhon Aldrin Casinas
The city local governments of Pasig and Marikina held an emergency rescue exercise to mark the Fifth Metro Manila Shake Drill early Saturday morning.
Injured victims on sidewalks, blaring firetrucks and ambulances, and a daring rescue of residents trapped in a fire that engulfed a high-rise residential building were some of the scenarios staged in Barangay Santolan, Pasig City.
— Manila Bulletin News (@manilabulletin) July 26, 2019
Pasig City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office acting chief Bryant Wong said around 1300 emergency personnel were deployed to aid the supposed victims of the earthquake.
Meanwhile, Marikina City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office chief Dave David said an emergency scenario was also held at SM Marikina where there were “victims” pinned down by fallen debris.
The Marikina City Rescue, David said, secured and managed the situation around the perimeter of the shopping mall while an emergency team responded to the “victims” inside.
Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman Danny Lim said there will always be room for improvements despite the readiness and outstanding performance of emergency personnel.
“Importante handa at maganda ‘yung kanilang performance, but of course laging may room for improvement,” Lim told reporters.
“Kaya nga every year natin ginagawa ito. Taon-taon ini-expect natin na lalo pa tayo magiging mas handa tuwing nag e-exercise tayo ng shake drill,” he said.
Lim said it was found that communication between the MMDA and the local government units in four quadrants of Metro Manila needed to be improved. The Cities of Pasig and Marikina make up the east quadrant.
“Kanina sa MMDA pa lang medyo hindi gaanong ka bilis ‘yung pag-establish natin ng communication sa iba’t-ibang quadrants at local government units,” Lim said.
Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto said the local government conducts capacity building for its emergency personnel, as well as the procurement of equipment for rescue operations.
“Importante, patuloy po tayong naghahanda, patuloy po tayong nagpa-practice at patuloy po ‘yung capacity building natin,” Sotto said.
“Dapat ‘di tayo kampante kahit sabihin mong maganda ‘yung response time, ‘yung coordination, at communication. Kailangan palagi tayong naghahanap ng ways to improve,” he added.
For his part, Marikina City Mayor Marcelino Teodoro said the local government has a “Family Disaster Planning” where families were educated on what to do in case of emergencies.
National Capital Region Police Office chief Major General Guillermo Eleazar said the presence of police officers during emergencies was important to keep peace and order, as well as provide security and assistance not only to those affected, but also to the responding emergency teams.
“The territorial police units will provide the necessary assistance doon sa kanilang respective jurisdictions,” he said.
According to Eleazar, the NCRPO has the equipment needed to respond to various emergencies that will be augment to the existing various LGUs in the metropolis.
Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology Director Undersecretary Renato U. Solidum Jr. said it was no longer an uncertainty that the West Valley Fault will move, and that it was only just a matter of time when it will move.
The fault, which runs below several cities in Metro Manila, is long overdue for another movement after centuries of inactivity, Solidum said.