Drill highlights Manila’s lack of lifesaving equipment
MANILA, Philippines—The Manila City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office said Saturday the city needs to buy more lifesaving equipment and tools to ensure that rescuers can work to save more lives in times of disaster.
During the city’s first citywide multi-disaster drill main program along Roxas Boulevard on Tuesday, the city government showcased its rescue tools and equipment, such as rescue vans, fire trucks, and hazardous materials (hazmat) suits, among others.
Rescuers, primarily from the Manila Bureau of Fire Protection, demonstrated the lifesaving skills that they use in specific disasters, such as earthquakes, tsunamis, and even leaking and dangerous chemicals.
However, Johnny Yu, head of the CDRRMO, said that despite this, Manila’s stockpile of rescue tools and equipment was inadequate.
“If we’re talking about training, we are 100 percent sure that responders are well trained. From first aid to hazmat training, they all have it under their belt,” Yu said.
“Our problem is equipment. As an office, the CDRRMO has only been around for just one year, and we have just started acquiring these,” he added.
Yu said that his office had the tools to carry out rescues for typhoons, earthquakes and tsunamis.
“But in terms of quantity, we need more. We have 3.5 million residents in six districts, and right now, the equipment we have can only be used for training. For example, we have a rescue van, but just one of it,” he said.
For this year, financial documents from the Manila City government show that it is allocating P176 million to buy such equipment.
“We want to be able to buy more tools and equipment so we can give it to the barangays. The plan is to train them and provide them with tools so that they can operate on their own during disasters,” Yu said.
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