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MCL hosts Cabuyao CDRRMO’s Disaster Preparedness Symposium

Dr. Esperanza O. Cayanan, Weather Services Chief of the Weather Division at Philippin Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), the first of the resource speakers for Yes to Disaster Resiliency: A Symposium on Disaster Preparedness.

In line with the observance of the National Disaster Resilience Month 2018, Malayan Colleges Laguna (MCL) hosted Yes to Disaster Resiliency: A Symposium on Disaster Preparedness, organized by the Cabuyao City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, last July 27.

A reputable set of resource speakers was invited to give lectures and spread awareness on disaster preparedness and to help strengthen the community-based disaster risk reduction and management.

The first of them was Dr. Esperanza O. Cayanan, Weather Services Chief of the Weather Division at Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), who discussed the early warning system that they use and explained common scientific terms that cannot be translated into the local language, such as the Intertropical Convergence Zone or ITCZ. She ended her session with an activity on typhoon tracking.

She was followed by Dr. Teofredo "Ted" T. Esguerra, an Operational Medicine Instructor at International Disaster Response Network and Subject Matter Expert of ABS-CBN’s Red Alert. In his talk, he corrected the way we respond when an earthquake strikes. “Focus. In times of danger, use your eyes. Run properly and use your senses.” Then Dr. Ted recalled some of his memorable rescues and combat medicine operations, stressing his belief that only science can help us in times of calamity.

One of the resource speakers, Quadrant R Security Training Center's Private Security Training Director Dr. Enrico L. de Guzman, was present to discuss School Emergency Management.

To finish his lecture, Dr. Ted recalled his team’s Mt. Everest expedition to show that Filipinos cannot only achieve what they can do, but can even exceed it. “With bayanihan, this nation will rise up again. Change will not come from the president; it will start from every Filipino with conviction. We can do it together.”

Discussing “School Emergency Management: A Must for the Entire School Community,” Quadrant R Security Training Center’s Private Security Training Director Dr. Enrico L. de Guzman reminded the audience that every school has to be able to formulate a comprehensive emergency management plan. He also emphasized that drills and exercises, such as fire and earthquake drills, are very crucial. “Preparedness relevant to any disaster is a continuing education. Hindi pwedeng ‘alam ko na ‘yan.’ We must continuously learn and nurture our knowledge to avoid or reduce adversities in schools.”

And lastly, National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Filipino Research Scientist and Founder of Project MICHELANGELO Foundation Dr. Jojo V. Sayson shared empowerment methodologies for motivating rescuers, encouraging the attendees to change their paradigm of thinking. “Whatever you think, it becomes.”

Present to give a keynote speech was Dr. Alfredo Mahar Francisco A. Lagmay, Director of University of the Philippines Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards Center (UP NOAH). He emphasized that Filipinos “have to understand the problem to find the solution and that solution should be applied in getting communities prepared for adversity and for the impacts of natural hazards and climate change.” Furthermore, Dr. Lagmay put emphasis on why the location of evacuation centers and using of appropriate maps for planning are very crucial.

The event was attended by the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (CDRRMC) members, Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), Philippine National Police (PNP), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Pastoral Ministries, Pamantasan ng Cabuyao teaching personnel, Barangay officials, and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) officials.

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