October 4, 2017, at the Philippine General Hospital, Science Hall – Samahang Operasyon Sagip, together with its partners All UP Workers Union-Manila and All UP Academic Employees Union-Manila and Medico International, held the forum entitled “Preparing the Health Sector and Communities for The Big One”. The event was attended by over a hundred participants from hospitals, schools, local government units, and community organizations.
The first guest speaker was Dr. Renato U. Solidum, Director of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Sesimology (PHIVOLCS), and Undersecretary for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change of the DOST. He discussed the possible impact of “The Big One”, some guidelines of the government on which places are considered in “the red zone”, and possible scenarios that could occur during and after the incident.
Ms. Maria Elna Jazmines, Coordinator of the Local Partnership Department in the Citizens’ Disaster Response Center (CDRC) was the second speaker, and discussed the preparations we should make before any of these events, and the importance of a community-based organizing, plan, and response to a disaster situation.
After the discussion and open forum, the participants agreed to carry certain points and to respond to the calls-to-action that were lifted from the afternoon’s discourse:
- Help launch wide-spread information dissemination campaigns and education on “The Big One”, and preparations in a calm and responsible manner. Forms that were suggested are forums, discussions, and production of education materials for hospitals, schools, and community setting.
- Call-on respective agencies or local government units, especially at the barangay level, to step-up for disaster preparedness and response capabilities.
- Help in launching activities that would increase the community’s capacity toward better preparation and response in disaster situations such as: Community-based disaster management training, disaster preparedness training, earthquake drills, evacuation center management training, First Aid, First Responders’ Training and others.
- Awaken the spirit of camaraderie and service-giving toward a faster disaster response and rising.
- Faster communication and forming quick reaction teams in gathering resources, emergency relief, and response up to efforts toward rehabilitation of the affected community.