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Vigan City gets outstanding rating in earthquake simulation

VIGAN CITY, Ilocos Sur (PIA) – Vigan City received an outstanding rating of 95% during the Nationwide Simultaneous Earthquake Drill (NSED) for the first quarter held on Thursday, March 9.

The City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO) conducted the NSED at the Burgos Memorial School East (BMSE) here.

The rating was given by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Ilocos Sur, one of the evaluators in the said simulation.

In their evaluation report, they mentioned in the highlights that the learners were advised to bring hard helmets to school as preventive measure after the July 27 earthquake in 2022.

DILG Ilocos Sur Provincial Director Randy Dela Rosa (left) evaluates the simulation of the Burgos Memorial School East in Vigan City during the Nationwide Simultaneous Earthquake Drill.

They also recommended the city government "to widen their scope to produce more trained responders and for other stakeholders to replicate their good practice."

Of the missing 5 points in the rating, they pointed out that the participants executed the single-file formation instead of the "buddy-buddy" system during the evacuation phase.

DILG provincial director Randy Dela Rosa said in an interview after the preparedness drill that the school’s performance is “near perfect”.

Students and teachers, as well as employees of government agencies joined the 2023 NSED.

“We only have a few recommendations in which they can improve on. [The simulation is] very realistic, particularly the participation of the pupils who acted as victims during this exercise,” he said.

He added, “If only it is possible, we will rate them beyond 100%. They are prepared, from the equipment, personnel, skills, competency, and readiness of the school.”

The NSED is a quarterly simulation done by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) to raise awareness and increase preparedness of the people in disasters, particularly earthquakes.

According to Milagros Alquiza, the city DRRM officer, this first quarter NSED was conducted at the BMSE because it is the most unsafe among the facilities of the Department of Education in the city.

She said, “It is necessary to check their capacity to address an earthquake. The children performed the procedures including the duck, cover and hold, as well as those in the city hall and the barangays.”

Meanwhile, Lany Corpuz, the principal of the school, said that earthquake drills are held regularly in BMSE.

Employees of the National Museum of the Philippines Ilocos Region join the NSED 2023.

“We did not expect that the 251 kids would perform that well. We always have unannounced earthquake drills once a week – anytime of the day, the kids know what to do already,” the principal shared. (JCR/AMB/ATV, PIA Ilocos Sur)

About the Author

Aila Villanueva


Region 1

Aila T. Villanueva is an Information Officer I of the Philippine Information Agency Ilocos Sur Information Center based in the Heritage City of Vigan.

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