Around a thousand Capitol officials and personnel participated in the Cebu provincial government’s first earthquake drill. Conducted last April 8, the drill is part of the provincial government’s disaster-preparedness measures. Two fire trucks from the Bureau of Fire and Protection were used to indicate the start of the drill.
As sirens whirred, everyone immediately yet calmly went out of their offices. They stayed in the designated evacuation areas until it was declared safe to return. The designated areas were at the front of the main and legislative buildings, and the parking lot.
Representatives from the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) were present to evaluate the Capitol occupants’ disaster-preparedness capability. They focused on the Office of the Governor and Vice Governor and the employees’ physical evacuation.
Joy Hernandez of OCD revealed that as expected for first-timers, the drill didn’t go smoothly because other employees weren’t able to hear the signal.
Some of them used the elevator, which is very dangerous in case a real earthquake occurs. A few were seen casually walking as if nothing happened.
However, OCD operations manager Dennis Chong enumerated the positive outcomes of the drill. He said that evacuation areas were designated and so people already know where to go. The simulation of a collapsed area allowed the identification of alternate routes and personnel were immediately accounted.
“This is not the first and last drill to be conducted. Hopefully in the next one, we would already see the improvement”, said Hernandez. Plans are also underway for the PDRRMO to conduct a quarterly fire drill.
According to Gov. Hilario Davide III who also actively participated in the drill, “it was a good exercise and I’m glad that atong mga kauban (our colleagues) really cooperated”. Lianne Llesol with reports from Ramon Gallardo