23 JULY 2009
REF.:  MAKATI ICRD , 8998938

The Department of Education-Makati (DepEd-Makati), in coordination with the Makati City Disaster Coordinating Council (MCDCC), will be conducting simultaneous earthquake drills in the city’s 38 public schools tomorrow, July 24.

Dep-Ed Makati Superintendent Elena Ruiz said upon the directive of Mayor Jejomar C. Binay, MCDCC chairman, she had issued a memorandum to all public and private school principals and administrators in Makati advising them to prioritize preparations for the conduct of earthquake drills to heighten the awareness of schoolchildren, faculty and other school personnel on how to act in case of an earthquake.

Ruiz said the drills will be conducted twice during the day, at 9am for morning shift classes and at 3pm for afternoon shift classes in the city’s 10 public high schools and 28 public elementary schools.  Meanwhile, private schools in the city have their own schedule for the drill, depending on their class schedules.

“I have mobilized all our school disaster coordinators to facilitate the proper and orderly execution of the drill in every school, and there will be monitoring teams coming from the MCDCC,” Ruiz said.

Ruiz said school disaster coordinators are required to submit a report two days after the actual conduct of the earthquake drill, which will include information on total enrolment, actual participation during the drill, and a short narrative evaluation of the drill.

“Aside from earthquake drills, we have also scheduled for this school year bomb and fire drills on September 25 and November 20, respectively, to ensure the readiness of our schoolchildren and the entire school populace should any of these disasters occur,” Ruiz said.

Meanwhile, the city’s Barangay Disaster Coordinating Councils recently conducted their training workshop on disaster preparedness and emergency response for officials and first responders, in response to the mayor’s call for their active participation in the intensified disaster risk reduction program of the city government.

“In light of renewed concerns over the high probability of a major earthquake hitting Metro Manila anytime, we need to step up our capability-building efforts to lessen the damage to lives and properties that can be inflicted by such an occurrence,” Binay said.

Binay was referring to news reports on the projected devastating impacts on Metro Manila of an earthquake with a magnitude of 7 or higher, which were presented by a senior United Nations official during the Global Disaster Risk Reduction Conference in Geneva , Switzerland recently.

In January last year, the city government partnered with the Earthquakes and Megacities Initiative (EMI) for the conduct of a Localized Disaster Risk and Vulnerability Management.  A memorandum of understanding signed by Binay and EMI chairman Dr. Fouad Bendimerad became the launching pad for the implementation of the Makati Risk Sensitive Urban Redevelopment Planning pilot project, which is aimed to modify and lessen the physical, social and economic vulnerability of the city to earthquake-related hazards through a comprehensive land use planning.  Through the project, target areas for redevelopment in the city have been identified and subjected to risk assessment surveys and other studies vital to the formulation of a strategic action plan.

The earthquake drill is also in line with the observance of the National Disaster Consciousness Month this July.


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