DPWH formulates “The Big One” preparedness program

MANILA Equipment and quick response teams are ready to respond in case that The Big One occurs in Metro Manila.

This is based on the Department of Public Works and Highways' (DPWH) Equipment Prepositioning and Mobilization Contingency Plan that will facilitate immediate and effective response in the event the disaster happens.

Through a department order issued by DPWH Secretary Mark Villar, Big One Preparedness Program will now serve as the standard operating procedure of disaster-responding DPWH Regional and District Engineering Offices nationwide.

As a Pre-Emergency Phase of the contingency plan, DPWH Quick Response Assets (QRAs) were formed, composed of all available DPWH Quick Response equipment and tools, as well as Quick Response support and medical team who can provide assistance in the road clearing and rescue operations after the occurrence of large-magnitude earthquake.

The inventory of QRAs are updated every end of the third month to ensure database is accurate.

During the Disaster Response Phase or immediately after the earthquake, DPWH shall coordinate with Regional and Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council-Office of Civil Defense to provide support to the Logistics Response Cluster.

The DPWH-National Capital Region (NCR) will serve as the lead agency in the Metro Manila Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council Engineering, Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Response Sector which is responsible in restoring and clearing vital access roads and bridges and reconstructing or rehabilitating damaged structures and facilities.

DPWH NCR, Region 3, and 4-A shall then transmit initial assessment of damages and communicate with QRAs nationwide for the estimated required number and type of QRA needed for the clearing and rescue operations in affected areas. The mobilization of QRA shall be on a wave system basis to prioritize road clearing operations.

First responders composed of highly-important QRA will immediately clear road and conduct rescue operations, simultaneously evaluating severity of damage to set quantity of needed additional QRA.

The QRAs from different regions are clustered to strategic deployment area to equally allocate support and assistance to the four (4) identified quadrants in Metro Manila, one in Central Luzon and one in Calabarzon.

Teams shall be mobilized through strategic entry points via land, air, sea, and air transportation.

DPWH Regions 1, 7, and some of National Capital Region (NCR) district field units shall clear roads in the North Quadrant or the cities of Caloocan, Valenzuela, Quezon, San Juan, and Mandaluyong.

Teams of DPWH Regions 2, 11, and some of NCR will cover the East Quadrant or the cities of Pasig and Marikina.

DPWH Region 10, Cordillera Administrative Region and some of NCR district field units will be in-charged with West Quadrant or the cities of Manila, Malabon, and Navotas.

Responsible for the South Quadrant covering the cities of Las PiAas, Makati, Muntinlupa, ParaAaque, Pateros, Taguig, and Pasay are the QRAs of DPWH Regions 5, 6, 8, and some of NCR district field units.

For affected areas of Central Luzon, responding regions are DPWH Regions III, IX, and XII while for CALABARZON are DPWH Regions 4-A, 4-B, and 13 QRAs.

As a Post-Emergency or Disaster Rehabilitation and Recovery Phase, Quick Response Teams shall submit necessary reports and account for any damaged equipment, tool, as well as injuries and casualties in their respective areas and will be demobilized back to their respective offices.

Experts said that The Big One," a major earthquake is expected to hit the National Capital Region once the West Valley Fault moves. (PR)

Source: Philippine News Agency