Argao’s Barangay Peacekeeping Action Team (BPAT) received disaster early warning system and first aid response training from Cebu Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) last week.
PDRRMO operations head Dennis Chong discussed the chain of disaster advisory dissemination from forecast agencies to the barangay level. Proper information dissemination greatly contributes to the province’s aim for “zero casualty”, he said.
He encouraged BPAT to provide feedback as soon as possible for monitoring and immediate response. “We emphasize preemptive evacuation rather than rescue,” said Chong.
He explained that as first responders, barangays should take the lead in disaster-preparedness.
“In the first 72 hours, community will be on its own. Help might not get through yet due to obstacles caused by the disaster. Thus, personal preparedness is important,” explained Chong.
For first aid response, John Limquiaco of PDRRMO discussed signs and symptoms of head, spine, and bone injuries among others. He also showed proper cardiopulmonary resuscitation and choking management.
BPAT is composed of elected and appointed officials from the barangays.
According to Vip Semilla, Argao municipal administrator, BPAT training covers barangay peacekeeping topics such as disaster-preparedness and rescue, laws and ordinances, among others. With 45 barangays in Argao, the training is divided into three batches participated in by five selected officials per barangay, he explained.
Semilla also revealed that some barangays expressed their interest in expanding their training and send more barangay officials. This time, barangays will be grouped into clusters and trainings will tackle specific topics addressing the needs of each cluster, he explained.