By Albert B. Lacanlale
LUBAO, Pampanga—In observance of the national disaster month, the municipal government of Lubao held Monday a drill to evaluate the town’s readiness in times of flooding.
Mayor Esmeralda “Esmie” G. Pineda led the simulation as chairperson of the municipal disaster risk reduction and management council.
Random residents of Barangay Sta. Maria participated in the drill which identified the village’s multi-purpose covered court as a quick-response staging site for evacuees.
Municipal Social Welfare and Development Officer Malou delos Reyes said their office will be setting up areas for senior citizens, pregnant women, children and persons with disabilities to give special attention to these sectors.
Children, through the assistance of social workers, were given stress debriefing activities while relief goods were prepared for the evacuated families.
Police and medical personnel were also deployed to manage security and give first aid to the evacuees.
Lieutenant Colonel Michael John Riego, Lubao police chief, said 14 policemen from the municipal police station and the Provincial Mobile Group were on-site to ensure that no untoward incidents occurred during the transport of the residents from their homes to the staging area.
Riego reminded the participants of the drill that should evacuations be implemented in real disaster situations, the residents should follow orders to leave their homes to save their lives and that of their families.
“If there are announcements for immediate evacuation, think of your safety above anything else,” Riego said.
Roland Sibug, Liga ng mga Barangay president and barangay chairman of Sta. Maria, along with fellow village officials and Bantay-Bayan personnel, assisted in the transport of the evacuees to the staging area.
Last year, the drill was conducted in Barangay Lourdes.
Mayor Pineda, with Vice Mayor Jay Montemayor and Councilor Edgar Dabu, observed the conduct of the drill as she reminded team leaders to further educate the public on the importance of the drills to safeguard the public.