March 24, 2023

BONTOC, Mountain Province – Members of the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (MDDRMC), responders from government agencies and barangays, and members of the Bontoc Emergency Response Team (BERT) recently underwent a five-day Integrated Planning Course on Incident Command System (ICS).

The ICS is a standardized on-scene emergency management concept specifically designed to allow its users to adopt an integrated organizational structure, equal to the complexity and demands of single or multiple incidents.

The participants in the ICS level 2 are those who underwent the Basic ICS Training Course. The ICS level 2 focused on the planning process of the incident command post.

Aside from lectures, the participants were involved in group discussion, tabletop exercises, final exercise on the operational briefing period, and post-examinations.

According to Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Officer Johanna Padaen, the activity aimed to enhance the capabilities, knowledge, and right attitude of the MDRRMC members, responders, and workforce that are essential for the integration of the planning process for use in ICS operations.

Mayor Jerome Tudlong, Jr. approved the conduct of the ICS Level 2 training recognizing its importance in DRRM programs and initiatives of the government.

“This training is important especially nowadays that we are always visited by typhoons and we are located in a mountainous terrain that is prone to landslides. It only shows there is a need for us to prepare through capability training for our responders, and workforce under the emergency operations center and incident management teams. ICS is the answer to how to effectively respond when there is a disaster,” he said.

Engr. Jose Ignacio Valera, chief of Capacity Building and Training Section of the Office of the Civil Defense-Cordillera and an expert cadre from the Cordillera ICS, said the ICS is effective in applying to an incident be it man-made or natural. He added it will help achieve tactical objectives and will also bring efficient use of resources.

The training course involved seven modules with the following topics: Overview of Planning Section; Forms, Documents, and Supplies; Planning Section Chief; Resource and Demobilization Unit Leaders; Situation Unit Leader; Documentation; and Transfer of Command, Demobilization, and Closeout.

The trainers are expert cadres Engr. Jose Ignacio Valera; Gerald Alejo, Jr., a registered nurse and member of the Cordillera IMT; Mike Kenneth Piluden, a registered nurse and member of the Cordillera IMT; LDRRMO III Jonas Chumacog from the Mountain Province Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office; LDRRMO II Crismar Farnican from the Mountain Province PDRRMO; and LDRRMO II Meilynne Shalom Ayan of the Bontoc MDRRMO.

Sangguniang Bayan member Benedict Odsey II, who represented the mayor, expressed the gratitude of the municipal government to the trainers.

He said the training was conducted timely as the magnitude 7.0 earthquake with the epicenter in Tayum, Abra was felt in the municipality.

He said with the knowledge, skills, and right attitude imparted to the participants, they know and are aware of their roles and responsibilities in any eventualities, emergency situations, or disaster that may occur, should it be inevitable.

The training was funded and spearheaded by the MDRRMO in partnership with the OCD-CAR. Meanwhile, the ICS Level 3 or Position Courses on ICS is tentatively scheduled on Sept. 19 to 23. – Alpine L. Killa-Malwagay