• NCR makes disaster drills a must

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    The Metro Manila Council (MMC) has approved a resolution that will allow the conduct of emergency drills in barangays (villages) in Metro Manila or the National Capital Region (NCR).

    In three-page resolution, the MMC said barangay officials are in a better position to give first response to their constituents and implement emergency plans to avoid or at least lessen the catastrophic effects of calamities and disasters.

    The MMC noted that calamities and disaster could strike anytime, even at night time when most people are at home.

    Composed of the 17 mayors in the country’s premier region, it is the policy-making body of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA).

    ”In order to ensure the safety if the public against various hazards and to mitigate the effects of disasters, there is need to further raise the public’s awareness, consciousness and knowledge on emergency management through active participation in the conduct of emergency drills within the barangay level,” the resolution stated.

    MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino said it is “time for us to conduct an inventory of our resources such as rescue personnel and equipment to improve our readiness.”

    The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology earlier said Metro Manila is highly exposed to a strong-magnitude earthquake, which may be generated by the Valley Fault System.

    Tolentino said “Oplan Metro Yakal” will be activated in case an Intensity 4 quake hits Metro Manila.

    The “Oplan Metro Yakal” is primarily composed of the MMDA’s 6,000-strong workforce who were trained as rescue volunteers under Task Force Rainbow, along with 1,000 volunteers from various villages and associations of fire brigades and civic organizations.

    Under the contingency plan, all MMDA employee-rescuers shall report to their assigned sectors or base camps at the earliest possible time if an earthquake strikes.

    Tolentino said the agency does not want to wait for a strong earthquake before the activation of its contingency plan on earthquakes.

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