On April 25, 2018, the Provincial Government-Cavite Office of Public Safety (PG-COPS) in coordination with and guided by the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) – Region IVA held the Orientation on the Contingency Plan (CP) Formulation for the imminent threat of the 7.2 magnitude earthquake (“The Big One”).
To get the participation of all Local Government Units (LGUs) in Cavite to formulate the Continency Plan, it was important to take a first step in crafting it. Leveling off, discussing what would be needed from everyone, roles and responsibilities, had to be discussed to get everyone on board.
The orientation is also in conjunction with the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council’s plan to harmonise all CPs of areas that would be affected by the 7.2 magnitude earthquake to test interoperability during emergency situations.
Sponsored by the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) and the Humanitarian Leadership Academy Philippines through Project VIPER (Vulnerability and Impact Reduction for Earthquake), the event was held at the Sangguniang Panlalawigan Session Hall in Trece Martirez City, Cavite.
74 participants comprising representatives from the 23 municipalities and cities of Cavite attended. Public Relations Officer for PG-COPS Trixia Flores was the emcee of the orientation.
Cavite Governor and Chair of the Provincial DRRM Council Atty. Jesus Crispin Remulla sent his message and support through Rolando Alvaran, Officer in Charge of the province’s Road Safety Division. Through Rey Arevalo, Cavite Vice Governor and Vice-Chair of the Provincial DRRM Council Jolo Revilla also sent his message reminding attendees that the formulation of the CP is tantamount to saving people’s lives, which is the nation’s most important resource.
Tom Pignon, ADRA Philippines Country Director, iterated the same in his message:
“The reality of this plan is it will save lives. It will allow us to coordinate better before the earthquake happens and will certainly enable us to respond more effectively.
And if we can respond more effectively here in Cavite to an earthquake, and any sort of disaster, if we can collaborate effectively, then we can save lives. So, what we are planning here today is planning to save lives.”
Alex Masiglat from OCD – Region IVA Calabarzon led the discussion covering the purpose of the Contingency Plan, definition, importance, and application. He also talked about the different elements and features of a CP as well as common myths and facts.
Masiglat then focused on the how the CP is formulated. He noted the crucial involvement of particular government offices and discussed the importance of coordination and the relevance of DRRM and Crisis Management in drafting the CP.
“Contingency Planning is a process and not just a one-time thing. It is important for everyone involved to make sure that the information is always up-to-date,” he emphasized.
During the Questions and Answers session, the importance of being uniformly acquainted with templates of the CP was brought up. Hence, on May 8, the DRRM Council would meet again to tackle familiarization of the CP templates. This is in preparation for the actual formulation of the CP which would take place sometime end of May or early June this year.