Maanne Ilagan Lopez
A WORK IN PROGRESS

UDMC intensifies disaster education campaigns

Blue and Silver January-February 2007

UDMC intensifies disaster education campaigns

After conducting two earthquake drills last semester, the University Disaster Management Committee (UDMC) is coming up with more disaster education campaigns and drills.

Rev. Samuel Briones, Students Services Office (SSO) director, invited resource speakers from the Citizen’s Disaster Response Center (CDRC) last January 13 to conduct a Disaster Management Orientation at the Union Theological Seminary (UTS) board room. The speakers provided a background about the Philippines disaster situation, safety cautions during earthquake drills.

Moreover, the UDMC conducted a follow-up meeting last February 6 at the SSO to plan for the disaster education campaign and the schedule of the next earthquake drill. Engr. Edwin Gomez, General Services Office (GSO) director and UDMC overall chairperson, said they are requesting the professors to allot time for these drills and campaigns. “At least mag-lecture sila kahit five minutes per subject nila kasi itong February magpa-plan tayo ng panibagong drill (they could at least give a five-minute lecture per subject because we’ll plan for another drill this February.)”

To make the drill realistic, the UDMC plans to use props and a fogging machine, and invite representatives from the Bureau of Fire Protection and other agencies para makapag-bigay sila ng assistance at par mas maganda yung drill natin (I also invited persons from the Bureau of Fire Protection and other agencies for assistance to conduct a better drill.)”

The UDMC is also planning to invite speakers from the CDRC to give lectures in National Service Training Program (NSTP) classes.

Briones, in cooperation with Edgar de Castro, Information Technology Department (ITD) coordinator, also plans to present educational films about disasters to students. The UDMC will continue to hand out flyers and is also planning to coordinate with the Council pf Presidents (COP) and other organizations to reach more students.

Gomez raised the problems that the UDMC encountered during the previous earthquake drill last August and September. “Sa previous drill, matitigas ang ulo ng mga estudyante; parang binabalewala yung ginagawa naming (In the previous drill, the students neither seemed to care nor pay attention to what we are doing).”

Rev. Samson Almarez, University Security Committee (USC) chairperson and UDMC Site Security and Rescue in-charge, said the students are not yet prepared for disasters. “Regular instructions are given among the students, but based o the previous drill instructions are not enough.”

“I don’t think that they are prepared because very few participated in the last drill.”

Aside from the problem among the students’ disaster preparedness, Almarez also stated that although the University security guards are properly trained and have specific assignments in case of emergency, the cooperation of the whole community is still needed to ensure the safety of the University. “The security guards only have limited capability. That’s why we are requesting that the security problems in the campus be solved with the joint effort of the security guards, the admin, faculty, staff and the students.”

Gomez, on the other hand, said the UDMC focuses more on earthquakes because it is the worst disaster that can happen in the University. “Yung fire naman di sabay-sabay na dumarating, kasi pag earthquake wala tayong maaasahang tulong kundi tayo-tayo lang (Fires don’t occur all at the same time. Unlike in an earthquake, we can’t depend on anyone but ourselves.)”

“Di tayo pwedeng umasa sa tulong galing sa labas kasi malamang yung agencies na yun may kanya-kanyang ginagawa. (We can’t rely on the help of others, because probably those agencies are also dealing with their own concerns.)”

After the earthquake the education campaign this February, the UDMC will focus on fire on fire education in March.

Maanne Lopez, Althea Jaskha Quito

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