The Provincial Government through Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (PDRRMC) conducted the province’s first tsunami drill at barangay Tobuan, Labrador, Pangasinan on July 31 as the culminating activity of the province’s National Disaster Consciousness Month celebration this July.
Anchored on the theme, “Ligtas na Bayan, Maunlad na Pamayanan,” the event conducted by PDRRMC in coordination with Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) and Office of Civil Defense Region 1 (OCDR1) was aimed at levelling up disaster preparedness awareness among the people in the area.
An orientation was facilitated to brief the residents and pupils of Tobuan Elementary School before the actual conduct of the tsunami drill.
Vice Governor Jose Ferdinand Z. Calimlim Jr. who led the event in behalf of Gov. Espino lauded the active participation of community folks headed by Labrador Mayor Ricardo O. Camacho and Tobuan Barangay Captain Danilo Palisoc, Tobuan Elementary School Principal Ernesto Cabudoy, participating agencies and local partners in making the event successful.
Calimlim said that the noble efforts undertaken by the provincial government for disaster risk reduction and management through PDRRMC headed by OIC Executive Officer Fernando De Guzman has been in a good track under Espino administration.
De Guzman said that Tobuan Labrador is blessed that the province has considered the locality as venue of the first tsunami drill the provincial government has sponsored even as he said that people in this place will be more aware when a tsunami hits the area.
Meanwhile, OCDR1 Dir. Melchito M. Castro stated “Pangasinan has high risk for the occurrence of tsunami — that is, in reference with the study of PHIVOLCS stating that Manila Trench still unmovable through the years might trigger an earthquake or even a tsunami in Pangasinan.”
Castro explained that Republic Act 10121 which gave birth to National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC), explicates that the Office of Civil Defense coordinates with local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Councils (DRMMCs) whenever a community has already given go-signal for an impending natural disaster. Thus, DRMMCs response quickly after go-signals were already released by a certain community seeking for help and assistance for an impending risk of disaster.
He also urged local leaders to spearhead the conduct of tsunami drills quarterly or even daily as a pre-emptive preparation for disasters.
In the evaluation given by PHIVOLCS representative Joan Salcedo, she said “(temporary) evacuation sites should be well-coordinated; and signages heading to these areas should be installed permanently.”
Labrador Mayor Camacho who expressed thanks to the provincial government headed by Governor Espino for choosing Tobuan, Labrador as the venue for this activity, reiterated the importance of disaster preparedness among the people of three coastal barangays in Labrador.
Other partner agencies of the provincial government in this event were: PNP Labrador, Philippine Coastguard, Lingayen Rescue Team, Municipality of Lingayen, Philippine Army, Philippine Navy and Bureau of Fire Protection – Lingayen.
Earlier this July, the provincial government has conducted lectures on disaster risk reduction and management, earthquake drills and tree planting drives. (PIO/Mark Gerry Naval Oblanca)