Fire drill set at Zambo port on Thursday PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 08 June 2016 13:50

By KAREN KAY O. RIVERO

The Philippine Ports Authority, Port Management Office of Zamboanga,  will be conducting a fire drill on June 9, Thursday, at 9 a.m. to determine the preparedness of the port community in handling a contingent event such as fire breakout in the facility.

The drill is being carried out in collaboration with government agencies  including the Bureau of Fire Protection, Bureau of Customs, Zamboanga City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council, Office of Civil Defense, Task Force Zamboanga, Philippine Coast Guard, and PNP Maritime Group. Along with these institutions, port stakeholders such as various shipping line operators; the sole cargo handling operator, ZCIPSI; and other port ancillary services providers will be participating in the drill.    The vessel, M/V Trisha Kerstin I skippered by Capt. Esparaguera of Aleson Shipping Lines, Incorporated, will be utilized as part of the drill. The vessel plies the Zamboanga-Lamitan route.

This activity is one of PPA, PMO-Zamboanga’s major commitments in its Office Performance Commitment, based on its mandate to continually improve Baseport services, especially in the areas of Port Safety, Health and Environment. Conducted annually, the fire drill serves as a test and an evaluation of the port community’s competency in managing a crisis. A fire breakout is only one among many contingent scenarios that the port facility may be confronted with. Other contingent events include natural calamities such as typhoon and flooding, earthquake and tsunami, as well as man-made disasters that include bombing, fire breakouts, and hostage situations, among many others. Two other types of drills on earthquake and tsunami are scheduled for the year, with PPA’s Chief Safety Officer Engr. Aishar Hadjirul and Port Manager, Engr. Liberto C. Dela Rosa  on the forefront. Hadjirul emphasizes the need for preparedness in government installations such as the port saying that, “It is absolutely imperative that vital facilities such as the port be prepared in managing contingent events. The port community relies on its government leaders, and PPA is doing its best to be responsive to its demands.” Meanwhile, Engr. Dela Rosa stressed the importance in changing the public’s perception of safety, health and environment stability. He says, “We must internalize the culture and values pertaining to safety, health and environmental well-being not only in public institutions but in our homes, in ourselves. These concerns should no longer be left only to major institutions but must be personal, so that together, we understand the risks and we could manage the crisis, if it occurs.”

The public is advised to refrain from reacting with alarm and panic on the appointed hour as the drill is well-planned and therefore within the control of PPA and its partner agencies.