Amidst this ongoing public health emergency brought about by Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), it is also important to take into consideration the imminent threats of other natural and human-induced hazards, in which all stakeholders must be prepared to respond to. As the nation strengthens a government-wide response to the ongoing pandemic, several earthquakes and other geological hazards have occurred in various parts of the Philippines. While no reports of major damages and casualties, the delivery and continuity of disaster risk reduction and management efforts to these occurrences must be prioritized and taken into account, considering the Philippines’ inevitable exposure to these hazards.
The Republic Act No. 10121, otherwise known as the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Law, states that the people within the barangays are the first responders during the occurrence of disasters. However, the widespread damage may still prolong the response even at the barangay level. They may either become victims or will choose to respond first to the needs of their family. Thus, it is imperative to increase the knowledge of people regarding hazards and emphasize family emergency preparedness, in order to make them able to cope up with their adverse effects. In this consideration, the Philippine government continuously promote and instill disaster risk reduction and management awareness and preparedness to the public amidst the pandemic.
In view thereof, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management, through the Office of Civil Defense, in an effort to ensure the continuity of its public services and adherence to the minimum public health protocols and risk mitigation measures, provides alternative strategies in the conduct of the Nationwide Simultaneous Earthquake Drill (NSED).
The Online Ceremonial Pressing of the Button shall mark the culmination of a series of activities for the First Quarter NSED 2021.