Quezon City Hall has reintroduced earthquake and fire drills, the first this year for QC government employees, as QC intensifies its disaster-preparedness campaign against threats of calamities, be it man-made or natural.
Mayor Herbert Bautista ordered the conduct of the exercise to equip city employees with response and cope-up mechanisms during emergency situations.
The activity also highlighted QC’s government’s resolve to ensure the preservation of life and properties in the city against any eventualities. Quezon City and the rest of Metro Manila and nearby areas southward to Tagaytay are all within a danger zone of the West Valley Fault Line, one of the country’s active faults, which traverse along QC’s west boundary. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) has warned that the West Valley Fault Line could be expected to create an earthquake after a non-movement for the past 200 years.
Among those who participated during the Friday morning drill were members of the QC disaster risk reduction management council. These include, among others, the fire department, health department, QC Red Cross, the Phil. Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), Public Affair and Information Services Office and the QC Police Department, all showcasing their response capabilities during emergency situations.
Mayor Bautista, since assuming office as chief city executive, has repeatedly stressed the urgency of strengthening the city’s pre-disaster preparedness program to prevent loss of lives and damage to properties during calamities.
“Disasters can undermine, and even reverse our hard-won economic gains. Investing in disaster risk mitigation not only saves lives, it also safeguards our social and economic infrastructure,” said the Mayor.
Department of Public Order and Safety head Gen. Elmo DG San Diego (Ret.) who is also the Quezon City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council action officer, said that the execution of the fire and earthquake exercise is an initiative of Mayor Bautista to demonstrate the city government’s preparedness.
San Diego is positive that the exercise will somehow prepare the city’s populace in developing the discipline to stay calm and safe and at the same time determined to survive a particular disaster such as fire and earthquake. -30- Precy/Jonah/Maureen Quinones, PAISO