The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) in Southern Leyte continues to work with various institutions and organizations to strengthen the knowledge of and preparedness for calamities across communities—including the youth.
Recently, students of Southern Leyte State University (SLSU) in Sogod underwent a series of emergency preparedness and response trainings as part of a learning initiative in collaboration with PLDT wireless unit Smart Communications (Smart).
The initiative is called TNT Tropang Ready, a program by Smart that aims to enhance the youth’s preparedness knowledge. The Tropang Ready disaster readiness caravan tours schools and universities nationwide to equip students with skills that will enable them to become preparedness ambassadors in their own communities.
The trainings consisted of standard PDRRMO practices for disaster risk reduction and management, such as administering first aid, and basic steps to take when faced with certain hazards such as earthquakes, flooding and typhoons, noting the terrible after-effects of Supertyphoon “Yolanda” (Haiyan) in Leyte in 2013.
According to PDRRMO head Danilo Atienza, collaborating with groups such as Smart is a big help to them because it supplements their efforts to reach more areas in need of training. “This activity by Smart and TNT boosts our efforts in teaching disaster preparedness to students and residents. We’ve conducted trainings not just here in Sogod but in other parts of Southern Leyte as well,” Atienza said.
Joey Caraquil, a teacher at SLSU, recalled an earthquake that shook the province recently. Because they didn’t know what to do, some of his students panicked and ran toward the exits. After the training, he hopes a similar situation will not happen again. “This training is not just for me but for the students. They need to have the right knowledge so that when there’s an emergency, on their own, they would know what to do,” he said.
Student leader Jomar Bunutan also expressed his appreciation for the TNT Tropang Ready program. Bunutan hails from a town prone to landslides caused by nonstop rains. The program, he says, is timely for him and the members of his community. “We’re thankful to the PDRRMO and to Smart and TNT because this is a big help to us in preparing for whatever calamities that may strike us,” he said.
He also promised that he and his fellow youth group members would create a similar event in their locality to share the learnings with other residents.