SILANG, Cavite—The Cavite Provincial Government, together with the Humanitarian Leadership Academy-Philippine Academy Center and the Adventist Relief and Development Agency, staged the “Big Preparedness, One Cavite” seminar on Tuesday at the International Institute of Rural Reconstruction compound here.
The event was a province-wide discussion on earthquake preparedness and heightened Cavite’s disaster readiness campaign in anticipation of the “Big One” or the projected 7.2-magnitude earthquake from the West Valley Fault.
Alarmed by the recent earthquakes that rocked the National Capital Region, Batangas, Cavite, Zambales, and areas in Mindanao, proponents of the event saw the pressing need to discuss plans and strengthen collaboration between local government units, non-government organizations and the private sector to raise the level of preparedness of the whole province.
This dialogue is crucial, organizers said, since the “Big One” will not only affect Metro Manila but the entire Cavite as well, particularly the towns of Carmona, Gen. Mariano Alvarez, and Silang, which the West Valley Fault system traverses.
The event gathered provincial disaster risk reduction and management council members, municipal/city DRRM officers and LGU representatives, focal persons from NGOs and other stakeholders from the private sector.
They hope to come up with a common understanding and working ground on preparations and measures to mitigate the impact of the anticipated earthquake.
Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Officer Cecil Miranda delivered the event rationale, and called on the participants’ involvement since their inputs will contribute to the provincial contingency plan.
Science Undersecretary Renato Solidum explained the scenario and provided an overview of the possible impact of the anticipated major earthquake in the province based on most recent studies and research.
From these data, participants were able to understand the level of preparedness required for the “Big One” against what already exists, and identified immediate actions to address gaps.
Mon Santiago of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority discussed the Metro Manila Earthquake Contingency Plan or Oplan Metro Yakal Plus and its essential components and processes, as well as recommendations for Cavite.
Although the plan is National Capital Region-specific, it may provide LGUs a benchmark on points to consider in coming up with their own contingency plan, he said.
Cavite Governor Jesus Crispin “Boying” Remulla expressed his commitment to the advocacy of keeping Cavite safe at all times, and pledged his support to all undertakings pertaining to disaster risk reduction and management.
He likewise urged all the participants to work hand in hand for the safety of Caviteños and the preservation of lives and properties in times of disaster.
HLA Country Director Jocelyn Pilapil and ADRA Country Director Tom Pignon also shared their messages of support as able partners of the provincial government in preparing for the Big One.
Office of Civil Defense Region 4A Director Olive Luces also graced the event with inputs on the role of their agency as one of the front liners on disaster risk reduction and management programs.
In a workshop, participants from all 16 town’s and cities representatives were tasked to identify actions, gaps and come up with plans that they can work on in their particular LGUs as input for consolidation of the province. Follow up activities are anticipated after the dialogue targeting the formulation of the provincial contingency plan.