ZAMBOANGA CITY — The Department of Labor and Employment IX (DOLE 9), all its Field Offices and attached agencies participated in the 3rd Quarter Nationwide Simultaneous Earthquake Drill (NSED) last September 10, 2020.

DOLE 9 Regional Director Atty. Roy L. Buenafe said prior to the activity, “Everyone in this institution must inculcate the knowledge and preparedness of unpredictability and inevitability of the occurrence of an earthquake and other geological hazards in the future because we cannot predict when it will occur, we cannot foresee how much will be its force and bring destruction, that is why we have to take this drill seriously- to help us prepare contingency plans and how to respond to natural calamities”.

The NSED is under the facilitation of the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) which was designed to test the institutional capacities and individual readiness and responsiveness through the scenarios based on the probable effects of a strong earthquake.

During the drill, 41 DOLE employees from the Regional Office participated and executed the “duck, cover and hold” technique throughout the alarm phase at exactly 2:00 pm.

While evacuating the building, participants covered their heads, walked quicker than the usual, and followed evacuation directions/routes. A headcount was conducted while in the evacuation area where they stayed until the drill was concluded in about 4 minutes.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the usual “buddy-buddy” was foregone but the wearing of facemask, face shield, and social distancing was observed.

DOLE 9’s Safety, Health and Environment Committee (SHEC) composed of teams in charge of evacuation, fire safety, maintenance, search and rescue, security and communication was quickly activated during the drill. This creation of the SHEC is DOLE’s pro-active measure to potential threats to safety in the workplace. END/ With reports from Michael Vincent Macrohon

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