The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) through the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) and the Presidential Management Staff (PMS) conducted a Simulation Exercise (SIMEX) for cabinet secretaries and other executives on 30 January 2020 at the NDRRM Operations Center. The SIMEX was focused on testing government plans, preparedness and response measures and generating a harmonized action plan based on a worst-case-scenario on Taal Volcano eruption.
Scenario injects include violent eruption, massive and immediate displacement, impassable roads, security and protection issues inside and outside evacuation centers, health issues, relief shortage, price increase on prime commodities, unstable communication, and recovery concerns were presented. During the exercise, Defense Secretary and NDRRMC Chairperson, Delfin N. Lorenzana presided the NDRRMC meeting while the top government officials of the respective agencies respond to the scenario injects by discussing their action plans.
The exercise was attended by Secretary Delfin Lorenzana- DND, Secretary Karlo Nograles- OCS, Secretary Rolando Bautista-DSWD, Secretary Eduardo Ano-DILG, Secretary Fortunato dela Peña-DOST, Secretary Eduardo del Rosario- DHSUD, Chairman Danilo Lim MMDA and other executives from NEDA, DFA, DepEd, DTI, DOTr, DICT, DOE, PCOO, DPWH, PNP, BFP, AFP, PCG.
In a statement by Usec Ricardo B Jalad, he said, “Harmonizing our action plans lead to a strengthened collaboration among government agencies and improved disaster response and rehabilitation and recovery efforts that will benefit the community”. SND Lorenzana further added that all of the government agencies including partner stakeholders in DRRM play a significant role in disaster preparedness.
Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles recognized the efforts of OCD and NDRRMC to increase capacities of government agencies and to ensure that top government officials are aware of existing mechanisms in DRRM. He also expressed his commitment through the PMS to continue the conduct of simulation exercises that strengthens coordination and collaboration of government offices.
Last October 16, 2019, the first exercise in the Philippines and ASEAN region was conducted participated by top government officials. The main objective of the simulation exercises is to ensure collaborations among government agencies, in the event of major disasters affecting the country.