Taguig steps up preparedness vs. earthquakes, other calamities
Over 600 volunteers take oath to aid in times of disasters
Taguig City has reinforced its disaster preparedness following the earthquake that shook Bohol and Cebu with its recently-acquired rescue equipment and 634 newly-trained disaster risk reduction volunteers.
Mayor Lani Cayetano herself presided over the oath-taking ceremonies at the TCU auditorium last Wednesday of the 643 barangay volunteers from Taguig City’s first district, which included volunteers from the reserves of the Philippine Army, Philippine Marines and Philippine Navy.
“These volunteers embody the true responsible citizen of Taguig. The city’s true resources do not reside in its coffers or treasury, but in its citizens who are always ready to lend a helping hand in times of dire need and emergencies,” Mayor Lani said.
Taguig Rescue chief Ronald Galicia said the volunteers who recently took the oath are but part of a larger group of volunteers yet to be assembled by the local government.
“This is just the first phase. We only have volunteers from the first district, we hope for the same if not better outcome on the second phase and the years to come. We are continuing our information and education drives in the barangay level to inform citizens of what they can and should do in the event of disasters,” he said.
Galicia also unveiled an array of equipment that is seen to boost the city’s preparedness and response to disasters such as earthquake and floods.
He disclosed that Taguig Rescue has in its inventory a hydraulic extrication set, which includes a hydraulic spreader, hydraulic cutter, telescopic ram, combi tool (spreader/cutter), high pressure lifting bags, rescue saw, wedges, hydraulic jack, heavy duty circular saw, concrete cutter, chipping tool, chain saw, and other basic earthquake and hand tools.
For floods, they also have rubber boats, aluminum boats, outboard motors, ropes, throw bags, floatation vests, and diving gears for water search and rescue operations.
14 aluminum flood boats, 10 outboard motors, one rescue tender fire truck, one pumper fire truck and 1 mini pumper fire truck were added to the City Rescue’s inventory and were inaugurated recently.
“Before Mayor Lani’s term, Taguig Rescue has zero in its inventory. Before, we had no office, no staff, nor documents to work with, not until Mayor Lani assumed office. Our disaster preparedness improved tremendously,” recalled Galicia.
Taguig’s City Health Office (CHO) has beefed up its resources in the event that medical responses to disasters do arise.
According to Dr. Isaias Ramos, officer-in-charge of the CHO, the city government had only four ambulances; two of them unserviceable and were discarded while another needed extensive repairs, when Mayor Lani assumed office in 2010.
“Now we have 12 ambulances, seven of them mini-ambulances deployed in several barangays. We have five large ambulances which can serve as mobile clinics and temporary lying-in centers,” Ramos noted.
He said the mini-ambulances are now deployed in Barangays Ligid Tipas, Pinagsama, Bagumbayan, Calzada, Napindan and North Signal for quicker response to medical emergencies.
The five large ambulances, Ramos added, are deployed for use of the CHO, Taguig-Pateros District Hospital (TPDH) and Taguig Rescue.
The efforts of the local government of Taguig City in preparing for calamities and disaster have been recognized by no less than the Department of Interior and Local Government – National Capital Region (DILG-NCR) when it awarded Seal of Disaster Preparedness to the city last year. ###