The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) is now gearing up for the conduct of the 3rd Metro Manila Shakedrill this coming July in preparation for the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that might hit the metropolis.
MMDA will be doing the mock exercise for four days, from July 14 to July 17, at around 4 p.m. to allow other emergency responders from other regions to come in and participate.
In a statement, the MMDA said that the annual holding of the shakedrill aims to identify the gaps during the first two drills held in 2015 and 2016.
The drill will also allow first responders and emergency personnel of the national government agencies (NGAs) as well as private organizations to fine-tune their respective contingency measures in case of the occurrence of the so-called Big One, the same statement said.
MMDA Chairman Danilo Lim said that, “every sector of society should all be aware and be ready to respond to such catastrophic event.”
“We should not ignore and not take this activity lightly because lives are at stake here. We should not be complacent, and should participate in this, so cooperation ng lahat ang kailangan,” added Lim.
“Let us make this a meaningful exercise,” the former general said at a recent consultative meeting with NGAs, local disaster risk reduction management officer of Metro Manila, and representatives from the Association of Barangay Chairmen.
Under the Oplan Metro Yakal Plus, MMDA’s disaster contingency plan, the engagement for disaster preparedness and awareness will start from the national level to the local government units down to the family and the individual.
Apart from testing response and rescue, command and control and communication systems, the exercise will also focus on early recovery-rehabilitation capacity.
This year, to make the exercise realistic, quadrant commanders of the four sectors – North, East, West and South – would have to start from scratch in mobilizing and setting up emergency operations center in their respective places of assignments as personnel and equipment will no longer be prepositioned.
“This will test the community preparations and how every organization or agency will execute its contingency plans. For private groups, this will test their business continuity capabilities in times of disasters,” the MMDA said.
Aside from government organizations, MMDA also engaged the private groups and companies to participate and test their own disaster response capabilities.
MMDA officials will sit down with members of the Academe, religious organizations, foreign embassies, and media in the following days.