Issue of October 1, 2017
     
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2017
Panagbenga Flower Festival
 
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Gifted and kids w/ special needs participate in earthquake drill
by Jane B. Cadalig

Baguio City’s earthquake preparedness drill engaged gifted children and those with special needs.

Pupils at the Special Education Center-Baguio participated in the 3rd Quarter National Simultaneous Earthquake Drill, allowing concerned agencies to conduct an assessment on the evacuation of students with special needs.

The Office of the Civil Defense said this year’s shake drill saw for the first time a school requiring learners to make improvised head protection. Instead of books, SPED learners used clean and unused rugs as their head protection.

Public elementary and high schools, including government agencies based in Baguio performed the duck, cover, and hold technique soon after the sirens rang, signaling an earthquake at 2 p.m. on Sept. 27. 

The OCD said more than 125,000 individuals across the region participated in the nationwide quake drill where a 7.2 magnitude quake was felt for one minute.

OCD Information Officer Ivy Carasi said the regular conduct of the drill seeks to educate the public on the importance of knowing what to do when an earthquake occurs.

“The public needs to be reminded (on the importance) of preparedness because disasters happen in the most unexpected time,” she said. 

Other agencies that participated in the 3rd Quarter NSED are University of the Cordilleras, which activated its incident command system, Saint Louis University-main campus, including its secondary and elementary schools, Police Regional Office-Cordillera, and government offices.

OCD said more than 200 umpires were deployed in different areas.

A pool of umpires is composed of personnel from DepEd Baguio Division, Baguio City Police Office, Baguio-Benguet Public Information Civil Action Group, Kabalikat CiviComm, Baguio City Emergency Medical Services, Bureau of Fire Protection, Philippine Red Cross, Air Force, school Disaster Risk Reduction coordinators, and Army reservists.

Aside from preparing the public, the quarterly simultaneous earthquake drill is held to also test the preparedness and workflows of government agencies and local government units in case a strong quake strikes.


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