MMDA to train volunteers for rescue operations

By on June 1, 2015


MMDA Chairman Atty. Francis Tolentino. Photo courtesy of MMDA's official Facebook page.
MMDA Chairman Atty. Francis Tolentino. Photo courtesy of MMDA’s official Facebook page.

MANILA –The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority is now accepting rescue volunteers to reinforce its 6,000 rescue personnel in case of disasters.

MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino said the MMDA aims to train 8,000 volunteers for free to be part of the Metro Manila Rescue Volunteer Core.

Tolentino explained that private individuals and people from homeowners associations could also sign up for the training as long as they are 18 yrs. old and above and is physically prepared for training.

“Next week, we will be dividing the volunteers who will sign up to the four quadrants of the OPLAN: Metro Yakal and each quadrant will have 2,000 volunteers each,” Tolentino said.

Tolentino noted that the training will be done batch by batch composing of 30 volunteers to maximize the facilities and the time of the trainer.

Participants will receive T-shirts, identification card and a certificate of training.

“They will be able to use the knowledge they gained from training in real-life scenario and that is free,” Tolentino added.

Interested individuals may call MMDA office at 882-0927 or the MMDA Trunkline at 882-4151.

The training is a part of the preparation efforts of the MMDA to respond in case a 7.2 magnitude earthquake hits Metro Manila.

On Monday, the MMDA launched the bepreparedmetromanila.com, a new website that provides vital information on earthquake preparedness and disaster response.

Tolentino said the new website is part of MMDA’s thrust of using technology and communications to make accessible to the public necessary information should a strong earthquake hit Metro Manila and nearby towns.

“With the unquestionable power of technology nowadays, the be prepared Metro Manila website is the agency’s latest offering to promote disaster preparedness and public safety,” Tolentino said.

The website highlights the importance of volunteerism and ‘bayanihan’ through the sign-up option for the Metro Manila Rescue Volunteer Corps (MMRVC).

Oplan Metro Yakal is the earthquake-response plan by the agency which was released in 2011 and created divisions in Metro Manila for faster disaster response measures. It also identified four possible evacuation sites (Veteran’s golf course in Quezon City, Villamor golf course in Pasay City, the Wack Wack golf course in Mandaluyong City and the Intramuros golf course in Manila) and color-coding of uniforms to be worn by rescuers in the four quadrants.

The MMDA said that this division will help avoid multiple dispatch of emergency and rescue teams in a single area.

The north quadrant (red) is composed of Caloocan, Navotas, Valenzuela, Quezon City, San Juan and Mandaluyong, the south quadrant (blue) is composed of the Makati, Las Pinas, Muntinlupa, Paranaque, Taguig, Pateros, Pasay, Muntinlupa and Pateros, the west quadrant (green) is made up of Manila and Malabon while the east quadrant (orange) is composed of Marikina and Pasig.

Phivolcs recently released the Valley Fault System Atlas which contained detailed maps of the areas near the earthquake faults — the East Valley Fall which runs through Rizal and the West Valley Fault which spans from Bulacan going to Rizal, Metro Manila, Cavite and Laguna.

The agency said a strong movement, possibly equivalent to a magnitude 7.2, from the fault is possible and could kill more than 30,000 people based from Phivolcs studies.