By Analou de Vera
The Department of Health (DOH) said that it is important for the Philippines to further improve its coordination with other countries in disaster risk response to strengthen cooperation and save more lives.
The Philippines recently hosted the third Regional Collaboration Drill (RCD) as part of the project on strengthening the ASEAN Regional Capacity on Disaster Health Management (ARCH), in line with the ASEAN Declaration on Disaster Health Management.
The project aims to strengthen the overall regional response during disasters, particularly on coordination among emergency medical teams (EMTs) and team management relevant to the response.
“It will benefit the country to enhance the interagency collaboration and coordination both at the national and international response operation activities,” the health department said.
The country’s hosting of the drill was in line with the country’s preparation to respond to a possible 7.2 magnitude earthquake in Metro Manila.
“The hosting of RCD is in line with our country’s commitment as an ASEAN member and it is also in accordance with FOURmula One Plus, where responsiveness is a priority especially during environmental health threats, hazards, and disasters,” said Health Secretary Francisco Duque III.
“From a country with several experiences on disaster, ranking third among the 171 countries in terms of disaster risk, the Philippines recognizes that coordination saves lives and, therefore, we need to improve our coordination between countries, among local responders, and that of civil and military sectors,” added Duque.
To note, the first drill was hosted by Thailand on June 2017, and the second by Vietnam on March 2018.