City hall, allies ink pact for responders
By Jason B. Neola NAGA CITY --- Seeing the need to increase the level of preparedness and resiliency of the communities, the city government of Naga has adopted an approach that will allow its residents to deal with calamities and disaster more effectively. This city, which is deemed more vulnerable to natural and man-induced calamities because of its geographic location and geophysical attributes, has begun conducting trainings on first responders and basic life support with various community-based institutions like schools and business establishments, including members of families as leading participants. The project is being pursued in collaboration with 17 public and private agencies and organizations whose individual roles are reflected in the memorandum of cooperation signed on March 23, this year. On April 3, this year, an evaluation and consolidation of teaching modules which were developed by the partnering agencies will be piloted in the barangays of Mabolo, Sta. Cruz and Carolina. The training is set to reel off on the third week of April, after the Holy Week. As mandated in City Ordinance 2017-007, the community-level disaster preparedness training program will be institutionalized thru an inter-agency approach, wherein the partnering agencies and organizations perform their individual tasks under mutual cooperation and coordination. The inter-agency approach allows the city government to achieve significant results, like the celebration of the Peñafrancia Fiesta in recent years. The signatory agencies/organizations are the LGU Naga, Office of Civil Defense (OCD), the Philippine Army, Department of Health, Dept. of Social Welfare and Development, Dept. of Interior and Local Government, Dept. of Science and Technology, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), the Philippine National Police, Bureau of Fire Protection, Dept. of Education, Bicol Medical Center (BMC), Philippine Red Cross, Metro Naga Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Philippine Heart Association, the Philippine Information Agency, City Hall Press Corps, and the Liga ng mga Barangay. Training instructors and resource speakers for the contingency planning and incident command system training will be provided by the OCD which will also supply the materials, equipment and other resources for the operationalization of the program. Those in the uniformed services are tasked to provide speakers or instructors who will tackle subject matters relative to the mandate of their respective agencies like the PCG which is in-charge of Water Safety Training, the PNP in Security Operations, and BFP in Fire Prevention and Fire Safety Awareness/Suppression, and Technical Rescue Training. Instructors in Basic Life Support training will be made available by the BMC while the mentors in Standard First Aid training will come from the PNRC-Camarines Sur chapter. Teaching and non-teaching personnel from DepEd will be mobilized during the conduct of trainings for schoolchildren. Media practitioners from government and city hall press corps are tasked to feed timely news and information, orchestrate other programs that will complement the same, provide logistical and other resources for the operationalization of the program and provide updates to the general public via print, online, broadcast and/or webcast media.