Duck. Cover. Hold.
That was the mantra that the Occupational Health and Safety Standards Committee (OHSSC) of the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Community Affairs (OVCCA) asked the 120 staff members at the Abelardo G. Samonte Hall to internalize when it held its first earthquake drill of the year on 30 July 2015.
Prof. Genaro A. Cuaresma, Assistant to the Vice Chancellor for Community Affairs, served as the Chief of the exit drill. He said that they will be conducting a series of drills among UPLB colleges and units. The ultimate goal of the activity was to hold a university-wide drill in preparation for “The Big One.”
“The West Valley Fault terminates in Canlubang, which is near the UPLB Campus. If the fault moves, there is a chance that we will be experiencing a magnitude 7.2,” he said.
He also said that the siren at the University Police Force UPF (UPF) will once again become operational and will be used during times of emergency.
The drill was held simultaneously with the Metro Manila Shake Drill that the Metropolitan Development Authority (MMDA) spearheaded at around 9:00 AM. The exact time of the drill was not announced to the participants to stimulate urgency.
Supervised by Chief Ricardo T. Silab, members of the University Police Force (UPF) and Community Service Brigade (CSB) simulated a rescue operation during the drill. Staff members from the University Health Service (UHS) were also on standby with an ambulance.
The UPF likewise demonstrated how to use a fire extinguisher by creating “fake fire” inside the building.
Thirteen offices participated in the earthquake drill, including those under the College of Agriculture, the Office of the Chancellor, the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Administration, and the Office of Planning and Development:
College of Agriculture – Dean’s Office and Office of the College Secretary
Office of the Chancellor – Legal Office, Office of Public Relations, and Internal Control Officem and Internal Control Office
Office of the Vice Chancellor for Administration – Accounting Office, Human Resource Management Office, Cashier’s Office, and Records Management Office
Office of the Vice Chancellor for Planning and Development – Budget Management Office, Resource Generation and Development Office, and Information Technology Center.
(Miguel Victor T. Durian, Malvin G. Biguerras, & Joseph A. Pagtananan)