01 July 2021 – The city disaster risk reduction management office (CDRRMO) continues to play a vital role in the city’s ongoing fight against the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic especially as Mayor Benjamin Magalong has ordered the ramping-up of the Summer Capital’s vaccination drive to stem the tide of the deadly virus.

In a media forum, June 30, at City Hall, CDRRMO officer-in-charge Antonette Anaban said her office’s role is not limited to non-covid medical coordination and response since it is currently serving as the Baguio One Hospital Command engaged in referring cases and coordinating with concerned agencies and medical institutions.

A CDRRMO ambulances and crew is always on stand-by at vaccination centers to respond to cases when resources of the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) have been exhausted, for example, and serve as an augmentation force, she said.

Anaban said that since the CDRRMO has  a limited number of  ambulances and manpower, this is where we ask the help of its partners in the private sector and civil society organizations including the Bureau of Fire Protection and others.

“The CDRRMO is very thankful that even after more than a year of battling the pandemic, they are still very willing to help us,” she said.

Prior to any disaster, Anaban said, the CDRRMO makes sure to coordinate with the different response clusters like protection; search, rescue, and retrieval; law and order; management of the dead; health; emergency telecommunication and more.

Organized response teams composed of representatives  from the government and private sectors are assigned to each cluster, she said.

“Before any disaster, the CDRRMO meets with the different clusters and discuss what to prepare for any eventuality and even worse-case scenarios,” Anaban said.

She said the CDRRMO has an inventory of resources to make sure that these are available during disasters making it imperative for her department to have close coordination with the city social welfare and development office (CSWDO) and health services office (HSO).

The CDRRMO also makes sure that the city’s evacuation centers are ready by conducting joint inspections with the CSWDO to ensure that these have adequate water, sanitation and hygiene facilities. –Gaby B. Keith