Freddie G. Lazaro
SAN FERNANDO CITY – Members of the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC) of Region 1 has started preparing safety plans to ensure safe conduct of ASEAN 2017 meeting set in Laoag City in July.
About 300 delegates from the 10 ASEAN member-states are expected to attend the 35th Senior Officials Meeting on Energy (SOME) in Laoag City to discuss renewable energy generation program.
Melchito M. Castro, regional director of the Office the Civil Defense (OCD) in Ilocos and chairman of the RDRRMC-1, initiated the conduct of an inter-agency meeting here on Tuesday to identify possible strategies, plans, and contingencies to guarantee the safety of the delegates and visitors in the ASEAN meeting.
“During our meeting, we approved a Site Task Group Emergency Preparedness and Response (STGEPR) and the Regional Strategic Action Plan for the ASEAN 2017 conference set in Laoag City for presentation to the National Organizing Committee (NOC),” Castro said.
He added, “Initially, we already identified the available resources of each DRRM member-agency for use for immediate response during emergencies.”
The RDRRMC-1 has identified at least seven most prevalent hazards in the region to include hydromet hazards (tropical cyclones, low-pressure areas (LPAs) and floods); fire; geologic hazards (earthquake and tsunami); flash mobs and rallies that may result to mass casualties; terrorist attack bombing and Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear(CBRN) attack; food poisoning; and disease outbreak.
“The STGEPR of the RDRRMC1 through OCD-1 will direct and oversee the overall emergency preparedness, response, and consequence management for all natural and human induced disasters that may occur during the ASEAN meeting in Ilocos Norte,” he said.
To ensure the systematic application of the standard operating procedures (SOPs) and guidelines of the STGEPR, a task group was created for the following areas: search, rescue and retrieval; medical emergency management; fire; chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN); DRRM; logistics /emergency telecoms (Rapid Emergency Telecommunications – RET); and camp management.
“In addition, we must also establish a Regional Incident Management Team (RIMT) that will undertake emergency preparedness activities and direct consequence management during the duration of the ASEAN 2017 at engagement areas,” Castro said.
Castor furthered that before the conduct of the ASEAN meeting in Ilocos Norte, the council will conduct series of meetings and simulation exercises to fully- equip with knowledge and practice the members of the task groups for the efficient execution of the SOPs and guidelines of the safety plan.
Meanwhile, Director Jennilyne C. Role of the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Region 1 announced that the massive advocacy campaign on ASEAN 2017 has already started in the region.
She enjoined all staff of the national government agencies and local government units in the region to help in and support the upcoming activities of PIA that are aimed at advocating ASEAN down to the grassroots.
Such activities include the installation of ASEAN kiosks in Laoag International Airport in Ilocos Norte and in San Fernando City, La Union, and “Fun run for ASEAN.”
She also asked the government agencies to submit information materials to PIA especially ASEAN-related materials for display at the PIA kiosks and for distribution to the public.
The 10 ASEAN member-states are the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei Darussalam, Vietnam, Lao PDR, Cambodia, and Myanmar. (JNPD/FGL/PIA-1)