LINGAYEN–The provincial government, through the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (PDRRMC), conducted the province’s first tsunami drill at barangay Tobuan, Labrador on July 31 as the culminating activity for the National Disaster Consciousness Month celebration this July.
Anchored on the theme, “Ligtas na Bayan, Maunlad na Pamayanan”, the event was conducted by PDRRMC in coordination with Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) and the Office of Civil Defense Region 1(OCDR1) was aimed at improving 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. Amado T. Espino Jr., 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 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 the Espino administration.
De Guzman said Tobuan Labrador is fortunate because the province chose the locality as the venue of the first tsunami drill in the province.
Meanwhile, OCDR1 Dir. Melchito M. Castro said, “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 led to the creation of the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC), mandates that the OCD coordinate with local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Councils (DRMMCs) whenever a community has already given a go-signal for an impending natural 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.”
Camacho, after thanking the provincial government, 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 in July, the provincial government conducted lectures on disaster risk reduction and management, earthquake drills and tree planting drives. (PIO/MarkGerry Naval Oblanca)