MAKATI CITY, Feb. 11 (PIA) -- An estimated 90,000 students, faculty and staff took part in simultaneous earthquake drills ordered by Mayor Jejomar Erwin S. Binay Jr. in all public schools in the city.
The drill was conducted by Dep-Ed Makati, in coordination with the Makati Disaster Risk Reduction and Management City Council (MDRRMC), in 28 elementary and 10 high schools.
Binay had directed the DepEd-Makati officials to prioritize the conduct of preparedness drills for students, faculty and other school personnel in case of an earthquake and other emergencies.
“We need to step up our capability-building efforts to lessen the damage to lives and properties in the event of an earthquake,” Binay said.
The mayor noted earlier projections of the devastating impact on Metro Manila of an earthquake with a magnitude of 7 or higher, after the 6.9-magnitude earthquake that hit the Visayas region recently again raised fears of a major temblor hitting the metropolis.
Lamberto Cruz, DepEd DRRMC Coordinator, said two drills were conducted, the first at 9 am for morning shift classes and the second at 3 pm for afternoon shift classes. Private schools in Makati were directed to draw up their own drill schedules.
DepEd Makati has been conducting regular bi-monthly preparedness drills, which include not only earthquake but also fire and bomb threat drills upon the directive of Mayor Binay, who also acts as MDRRMC chairman.
Cruz added that 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.
Meanwhile, the city’s Barangay Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (BDRRMC) continues to conduct 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.
Last year, Binay ordered an inspection of all public buildings and infrastructure in the city to determine their structural soundness following the devastating 8.9 magnitude earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan.
“There is really an urgent need for all sectors in Makati to step up disaster mitigation efforts and intensify public awareness on how to properly act to ascertain their safety in case of a similar emergency,” Binay said.
At present, there are 2,466 buildings located in the city. (ICRD/RJB/JCP-PIANCR)