Ranking Gov’t Officials Conduct 1st ‘Simulation Exercise’

In line with efforts to ensure that the government is capable of making a unified decision in times of major calamities, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), through the Office of Civil Defense, and the Presidential Management Staff (PMS) conducted a “simulation exercise” (SIMEX) along with other Cabinet secretaries and ranking officials Wednesday.

The activity, which was presided by Defense Secretary and NDRRMC chairperson Delfin Lorenzana and NDRRMC Executive Director Ricardo Jalad, took place at the NDRRMC Operations Center in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City.

The objective of the exercise is to demonstrate the leadership and unified decision-making of national leaders after a major disaster, he added.

“The scenario of the SIMEX focused on a magnitude 7.2 earthquake generated by the West Valley Fault that devastated Metro Manila, CALABARZON and Central Luzon,” Jalad said.

Based on the scenario, the alternate government command-and-control center was utilized as the emergency operations center situated in New Clark City, Tarlac.

And from there the harmonized national contingency plan was activated.

The top government officials provided necessary strategic actions taken on the aspects of life and safety and disaster response considering the massive impacts of the earthquake.

The scenarios and injects were developed by the technical representative from the NDRRMC member agencies to prompt responses from key government offices specifically the lead agencies in response and disaster management.

The activity is a historic undertaking of the Philippines and the ASEAN region as the first simulation exercise involving top government officials as key players.

This would be relevant to the guidance of the President to strengthen the collaboration among government agencies for disaster response. (PNA)