December 8, 2023

BONTOC, Mountain Province – The Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (MDRRMC) has put into practice the incident command system (ICS) during the 2nd quarter nationwide simultaneous earthquake drill (NSED) on June 8. 

ICS is a management system designed to enable effective and efficient incident management by integrating a combination of facilities, equipment, personnel, procedures, and communications within a common organizational structure. 

Upon the sounding of sirens at the provincial plaza, officials, employees, and clients of the local government and national government agencies with offices located at the Municipal Capitol executed the duck, cover, and hold procedure and evacuated from the building. 

To evaluate the disaster response of the municipality, there was a scenario involving two clients who were trapped in the building. 

Upon execution of the fifth phase which is the headcount, the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) has been activated.

The EOC deployed the risk damage needs analysis (RDNA) team to inspect stability of the building. Upon inspection, two victims were found and were reported to the EOC. 

As a quick response, an incident command post (ICP) has been established near ground zero. The MDRRMC and those who underwent and completed the four levels of ICS and trained responders were the workforce. Two search and rescue teams were formed comprising trained youth responders from barangays Samoki and Poblacion and some members of the Bontoc Emergency Res-ponse Team (BERT).

The search and rescue teams reported to the ICP, submitted the filled up forms (form 211), and were geared up to carry out rescue operations until the victims were transported to the Bontoc General Hospital.

Upon the declaration of the RDANA team that the Municipal Capitol is safe for occupancy, the officials, employees, and clients were given clearance to go back. It was also in the operational period that the coordination of the search and rescue teams on ground zero to the ICP and then to the Bontoc EOC was carried out. The operation ended with demobilization.  

The evaluation covers the proper execution of the drill, implementation of the ICS, and medical response. The roles and responsibilities of the local DRRM teams and disaster control groups were also assessed on certain aspects: evacuation, security, communication, warning system, medical, supply, engineering, and rehabilitation.

Evaluators were representatives from various government agencies and members of the BERT.

During the post-evaluation meeting at the operations center, they shared their viewpoints and observations regarding how the participants carried out the earthquake drill, and how the workforce carried out their roles and functions.

Mayor Jerome Tudlong, Jr., who also participated in the earthquake drill emphasized the importance of the NSED. He said the quarterly NSED should not only be the implemented by the government but the society as a whole. – Alpine K. Malwagay