QUEZON City Mayor Herbert Bautista has called on barangay officials to take good care of the equipment issued by the city government, especially those being used in rescue operations.
This after QC Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office officer-in-charge Edward Castillo Jr. observed following a series of inspections that a number of rescue boats given to barangays are no longer mission capable due to wear and tear, improper storage and maintenance neglect.
“Sa mga barangay, sana i-maintain at alagaan natin ‘yung mga bangka para kapag dumating ‘yung oras na kailanganin ang mga ito’y maari pa nating magamit,” Castillo pleaded.
The QC government owns at least 20 fiberglass flat-bottom boats. Ten of these are distributed and pre-positioned to flood-prone barangays such as Roxas, Talayan, Tatalon, Damayang Lagi, Doña Imelda, and Bagong Silangan.
The QC government also continuously provides training, medical and rescue equipment to rescuers to boost their capability. Among those provided by the local government are 142 Level 1 ambulances and rescue boats, all of which were distributed to barangays, especially those that are flood-prone.
Just recently, a series of trainings have been given to barangay personnel before they were issued sets of rescue equipment, Castillo said.
Barangay personnel from low-lying areas, he added, underwent Water Search and Rescue (WASAR) training while barangays personnel in areas transected by the West Valley Fault received an Earthquake Preparedness and Landslide Search and Rescue Orientation Course (ELSAROC) training.
“Kailangan i-equip natin ang mga barangay sa larangan ng disaster management, bahagi ito ng pagpapalakas ng ating mga barangay,” Mayor Herbert Bautista, in a later interview, explained.