February 1, 2023

The city government spearheaded by the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO) under Antonette Anaban conducted a full-scale disaster simulation exercise with barangays Irisan, Dontogan, Atok Trail, and Pacdal as impact sites to test Baguio’s response mechanism in cases of emergencies and disasters.
The activity started at 9 a.m. and ended around noon with the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) based at the Baguio Convention and Cultural Center triage area.
Participants of the simulation exercise were members of the CDRRM Council chaired by Mayor Benjamin Magalong with Chief of Staff Felipe Puzon as action officer.
The exercise was participated in by personnel from the Baguio City Police Office, Bureau of Fire and Protection, Health Services Office, Persons with Disabilities Affairs Office, Public Information Office, City Buildings and Architecture Office, City Engineering Office, City Veterinary and Agriculture Office, Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center, concerned barangay officials and other agencies and representatives from various communication groups.
An assessment was held at the CDRRMO “war room” facilitated by Local DRRM Officer III Louie Glen Lardizabal where participants decried the lack of proper communications equipment that hampered coordination among those in the ground.
The need for more training in terms of handling patients was suggested especially the “prioritization” on patients needing to be immediately rushed to the hospital and those that can be tended to at the barangay level.
Also observed was the alleged refusal of some motorists to give way to ambulances rushing patients to the hospital who need immediate medical attention.
It was suggested that the motoring public be reminded or educated more on this matter.
Lardizabal assured participants their observations will be collated and be made known to local officials for their information and appropriate action.
He added more simulation exercises will be conducted in the future to ensure that all gaps in the city’s response mechanism in cases of emergencies and disasters will be immediately and fully resolved in line with the city’s thrust towards disaster resilience. – Gaby B. Keith