To ensure effective emergency preparedness and response services during today’s historic oath taking of the country’s 17th President, Ferdinand R Marcos Jr. at the National Museum of Fine Arts, the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) is leading the Joint Task Group on Emergency Preparedness for Response (JTG EPR) in Manila.

This joint group is composed of five Task Groups: 1. TG Fire Safety and Fire Suppression; 2. TG Chemical, Biological Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosives, 3. TG Medical Emergency and Management; 4. Search, Rescue, and Retrieval, and 5. Task Group Service Support who will provide response services during oath taking should the need arise. This task group is composed of 406 personnel from OCD, the Department of the Interior and Local Government, Department of Health, Philippine National Police, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Bureau of Fire Protection, Philippine Coast Guard, Local Government Units of Parañaque, and Valenzuela.

Pre-deployment and send-off ceremonies were conducted yesterday. An operational period briefing of the JTG EPR was held early this morning to discuss situation updates and operational assignments. To supervise the operations of the Joint Group, the OCD organized a National Incident Management Team. The NIMT is led by OCD Assistant Secretary Bernardo Rafaelito Alejandro IV as Incident Commander with BFP CSUPT Romel Tradio and AFP Col Jose Ritchie Pabilonia as Deputy Commanders. An Incident Command Post in Fort Santiago was established with one staging area. Four other staging areas were also set up in Luneta Park, along the vicinity of San Sebastian Church, Paco Park, and Sunken Park.

The IMT uses the Incident Command System, one of the flagship programs of OCD. It has been institutionalized as an on-scene disaster response tool of the Philippine DRRM system. This tool is being utilized to coordinate actions of all response groups involved. OCD has been handling planned events previously such as the Black Nazarene Traslacion and international events including APEC meetings, and ASEAN summit.