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PIA Press Release
Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Benguet firms up command system, protocol for Provincial Opcen

by Susan Aro

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet, Jan 17 (PIA) -– The province is firming up the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for the Emergency Operation Center (Opcen) as guide for an effective, timely and orderly response in times of disaster including the establishment of a standard communication system and protocol.

The SOP for the Opcen or Provincial Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PLDRRMO) and the standard communication system and protocol, which are both outputs from the series of trainings, were presented during an emergency meeting of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (PDRRMC) including representatives of the World Food Programme (WFP) for comments and other inputs.

Provincial Capitol Rescue Team Leader Jerome Layugan presented the SOP which describes the functions of the Opcen and the procedures required to activate the center, provide coordination, mobilization and dispatching of resources needed for an effective, timely and orderly response.

The Provincial Operation Center follows the PDRRMC organizational structure and Incident Command System (ICS), a systematic tool used for the command, control and coordination of emergency response.

The Provincial OpCen is the central command and control facility responsible for carrying out the principles of emergency preparedness and emergency management, or disaster management functions at a strategic level in any emergency situation, and ensuring the continuity of operation of a company, political subdivision or other organization.

It performs functions such as information collection, analysis and dissemination, coordination with lower Disaster Risk Reduction Management Councils (DRRMCs), local and outside responders, communication, resource management, responders capability and resources, ensure availability and accessibility of evacuation centers, monitor observance of ICS in every operation, post operation conference, provision of pantry and rest facilities, and trauma and stress debriefing of responders, family of victims/survivors and communities.

There are levels of activation which are followed in the Opcen. Localized landslide, flooding or vehicular accidents may require only a minimal activation, while an impending typhoon landfall requires full activation.

Apart from typhoon disturbances, the Opcen covers all types of disasters such as fire incident, drowning, bird flu, bombing among others.

The PLDRRM Officer who heads the Provincial Opcen advises and recommends to the Provincial Governor, who chairs the PDRRMC, the partial or full activation of the Provincial Opcen.

Jessie Erico of the provincial government , on the other hand, presented the communication system and protocol among PDRRMC members for pre-event, during declaration of disaster and post event.(JDP/SCA- PIA CAR,Benguet)

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