CITY OF MALOLOS- Forty-six rescue teams with seven members each group participated in the Rescue M.A.R.C.H. (Mass Assembly for Rescue and Care for Humanity) Bulacan Challenge last Saturday, March 23, 2019.
Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council 3 Chairperson and Office of Civil Defense 3 Regional Director Major General Marlou L. Salazar, AFP (Ret.) together with Bulacan Council of DRRMOs Inc. President Paul Monching C. Santos, Rescue M.A.R.C.H. Organizer Martin Aguda, Expedition Physician of the First Philippine Mt. Everest Team Dr. Ted R. Esguerra, Bulacan PDRRMO Consultant and representative of Laang Kawal ng Pilipinas Partylist Nathaniel Marquez and Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office among others led the 12.5 km walk route that started from JED’s Island Resort in Brgy. Gatbuca, Calumpit going to Barasoain Church and ending at the Mini Forest, Capitol Compound in this city.
PDRRMO Head Felicisima Mungcal said that the activity tested the responders’ immediate capability, inter-operability with different rescue groups and physical endurance to all kinds of eventualities particularly in the said scenario, which is too far walk from the staging area to ground zero.
RD Salazar said that the said activity is a test for the responders’ physical stamina, which is the first requirement that should be taken through regular physical and proficiency maintenance training exercises.
He said also that it is important to remember the four thematic areas of DRRM including (1) Disaster Prevention and Mitigation; (2) Disaster Preparedness; (3)s Disaster Response; and (4) Disaster Rehabilitation and Recovery.
Meanwhile, Aguda said that the activity is a simulation exercise that started in 2015 as a preparation for the ‘The Big One’ or the 7.2 magnitude earthquake predicted to happen in the country.
Aside from Bulacan Rescue and the Office of Civil Defense 3, participants include C/DRRMOs of Angat, Bustos, Calumpit, Pulilan, Marilao, Pandi, Santa Maria, Guiguinto, Bulakan, Norzagaray, Doña Remedios Trinidad, San Ildefonso, Obando, Hagonoy, San Miguel, City of Malolos, Calumpit Rescue 1024, Bulacan Bureau of Fire Protection Districts 1, 2, 3 & 4, Barangay Sumapang Matanda Rescue, Volunteers in Case of Emergency-Human Emergency Life Patrol (VICE HELP), Citizen Anti-Crime Assistance Group (CAAG), Tagaytay City DRRMO, Valenzuela DRRMO, Olongapo City DRMMO, Brgy. Sta. Rita Rescue and Disaster Response Unit (FRADRU) Olongapo City, Philippine Red Cross-Bulacan Chapter, ABS-CBN-Emergency Management Unit (Red Alert), ARS PH (Amateur Radio Signal of the Philippines Inc), Ajinomoto Philippines Flavor Food Inc, MAALAB Rescue Group, Philippine National Police, PNP 1st Bulacan PMFC 2nd and 2nd Bulacan PMFC 3rd Maneuver Platoons, City of San Fernando Rescue Unit (SAFRU), 48th IB and 7ID Philippine Army, San Miguel Volunteer Group, Wilderness Search and Rescue, MT RAC Meycauayan Telecommunication Assistance Corps, and Metro Manila Development Authority.
The Provincial Government of Bulacan headed by Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado and Vice Gov. Daniel R. Fernando also thanked all those who supported the activity, as well as the sponsors and organizers and those who brought modern and important emergency rescue vehicles, tools and equipment.
Further, some participants put up their static display including Bulacan Rescue, Rescue 8 Trading Philippines Inc., Paracord Valenzuela, Survivors Outdoor Shop Blue Reef Trading, MMDA, Wallgreen Industrial Ventures Corporation, Raha Sulayman, Black Octopus Gear Manufacturing, Olongapo Fire Rescue, Ondoy Boat, Valenzuela DRRMO, Life Kit International Inc, Tek Group among others.