ILOILO CITY – Around 2,000 workers immediately moved out of their workplaces and gathered in an orderly manner to open areas where they believed were safe and stayed there until they were told it was no longer dangerous to leave their workplace.

This was the scenario on June 22, 2016 at the Megaworld Iloilo Business Park during the national simultaneous “shake” drill.  A loud siren signaled the occurrence of an earthquake in the vast business complex.

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“The simulated earthquake was considered to be intensity 8. There were no casualties because they focused more on the execution of the ‘cover, duck and hold’ scenario,” said Iloilo Business Park Estate Manager Rey Oreo in an interview with Panay News Agency.
Megaworld is one of the venues chosen for the conduct of nationwide simultaneous earthquake drill in the city.  Other venues were in Jaro National High School wherein students participated were estimated to be 2,577; Mandurriao High School participated by 1,500 students; and the Department of Health with 113 participants comprised of their regional office staff and clients.

Senior Superintendent Leo B. Bererial, Chief of the Police Regional Office 6 Communication and Electronic Office (COMMEL) said they were able to get in touch with the national headquarters despite of the hazy communication due to the rainy weather.  Further, he said that this is one areas that they must look into, making sure that communication will not be hampered regardless of weather conditions.

Melissa Banias, Chief of the Capability Building Section of the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) said that one of the purposes of the simulation exercise was to test the sustaining capability of communication lines, one of the worst affected in times of calamities.  She added that the activity was the venue to unify communication from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council to the regional level.

The Disaster Risk Reduction Management (DRRM) Team assigned in Megaworld gathered right after the drill at the Iloilo Business Park Sales and Communication Center to make some assessment.  All issues and concerns were tackled and was brought up again for further discussions during the evaluation together with the other teams assigned in other venues of the drill and with the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (RDRRMC).

After the evaluation, it was recommended that disaster drills should be taken seriously by the participants.  There should be ordinance adopting the national law requiring offices to conduct drills frequently and to improve evacuation plans of the offices and schools.  This was noted by Sangguniang Panglungsod member Lady Julie Grace Baronda who was present during the drill in Megaword.

There are still dangers in the evacuation like congestion in the evacuation area of the school resulting other students to go outside the school (Mandurriao National High School) and stay at the road side where vehicles pass.  It would possibly cause accidents and if a stampede would happen, a lot of students will get injured due to small entrance/exit gate of the school, thus, there is a need to ensure students’ safety by having agreements with the owners of private offices/places like the church beside the school with enough spaces to be utilized for evacuation in times of calamities.

There is a need to check emergency alarm oftentimes to ensure that it is still functioning and audible and there should be more medicines available and more medics present.

Generally, average time of the drill lasted around 24 minutes. (ADAS III Christine S. Palma, DILG6)

The Disaster Preparedness Committee of the RDRRMC VI, headed by the DILG VI, will spearhead the conduct of the 2016 Disaster Preparedness and Response IEC Caravan on July 12, 2016 at the Municipality of Concepcion, Iloilo. It will be conducted in partnership with the Office of Civil Defense VI, DILG Iloilo Province, DILG Concepcion and the different member agencies of the RDRRMC VI. The EIC will focus on the preparations to be made by the community in order to prepare for the possible hazards brought by La Nina. It will be participated in by the C/MDRRMOs in the province of Iloilo as well as local and barangay officials of the Municipality of Concepcion. Special thanks to Hon. Milliard Villanueva for accepting our invitation to host the caravan. (LGOO V Giselle Grace G. Gerial, DILG6, Photo Credit: Jun Christian T. Guardialao, Maria Jenica D. Villabeto )

Based on 2014 POPCOM Survey, the total population of the Municipality of Belison is 14,291 with 7,219 male and 7,073 female populations. The demographic profile of the municipality shows that 24.8 % of the total population are employed, 29.3 % are self-employed and 49.9 % are unemployed.

Being a fifth class municipality, Belison is fortunate to be one of the beneficiaries of government programs and services including the Bottom-up Budgeting (BuB). BuB is a government program that aims to reduce poverty by implementing anti-poverty projects that were identified by the community based on their needs.

One of the BuB projects implemented in Belison is the provision of seed capital to small micro and medium enterprises (SMMEs) which improve the existing livelihood of Market Vendors & Stall Owners Association (BPMSOA), Inc members.

According to Mr. Rey Omanio, President, Market Vendors & Stall Owners Association (BPMSOA), Inc. his income increased from Php 360.00-1,200.00 to Php 850.00-2,000.00 after the provision of seed capital amounting to PhP 10, 000.00 in which part of it he used to purchase a motorized grinder.

According to the beneficiaries, the provision of seed capital project helped them not to commit loan with the “Bombay” with having high interest rate.

Understanding the benefits they can get, beneficiaries developed their sense of ownership to sustain the project by supporting policies on daily payment of the seed capital. 

The organization of Market Vendors & Stall Owners Association (BPMSOA), Inc is also very active in identifying plans and initiatives for the sustainability of the project. One of the plans they made is to open the loan to non-members with low interest which can truly give additional income to the organization. (Jeoffrey F. Pagunaling, DILG6-Antique Community Mobilizer)

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG)forged partnership with the University of Antique (UA) to conduct Citizen Satisfaction Index System (CSIS) survey of the Municipality of San Jose de Buenavista through signing a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) held at the University of Antique University of Antique Hamtic Campus on June 20, 2016.               

The CSIS is a mechanism undertaken by DILG to generate relevant citizens’ feedback on the local governments’ service delivery performance. It was developed to serve as a tool for drawing applicable information for evaluating citizen satisfaction in the different local government services provided by the LGUs in partnership with Local Resource Institutions (LRIs). For the past years (2013-2015), 40 cities were covered by the CSIS. For this year, the CSIS will be pilot tested in 31 target municipalities.

In the Province of Antique, the Municipality of San Jose de Buenavista was chosen as the pilot municipality for CSIS. The University of Antique was recommended by DILG Region VI and has been selected to be DILG’s partner in the conduct of CSIS. Before engaging in any of the CSIS activities, the LRIs shall participate in LRI trainings. The LRIs will gather data and their personnel will be trained to conduct data analysis and report writing. A CSIS rollout was scheduled in July for the LRI personnel in Bohol funded by the Bureau of Local Government Supervision (BLGS). (LGOO II Judy Mae Magdato, DILG6-Antique)