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ADRA hosts “The Big One” Preparedness Forum

Posted August 25, 2017 • By Communication Department

August 24, CLC Cucueco Hall, Malabon City—The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) Philippines, in coordination with the Central Luzon Conference Adventist Community Services or ACS, held a whole-day seminar and workshop on preparedness and awareness for the anticipated earthquake “The Big One” that would greatly affect cities and places near the West Valley Fault.

To address the right people with this initial step of information drive, Pastor Ricky Falculan, ACS Director of the Conference, tapped our school principals, ACS local church leaders, and ministers in Metro Manila and in the provinces of Bulacan and Cavite to attend this forum. Disaster Risk Reduction Adviser and Consultant for the Metro Manila Development Authority, Mr. Ramon Santiago, presented several facts on risk assessment studies and probable damage estimates of buildings and families, including public facilities that would also be affected. “Earthquake, being a single event, kills a huge number of people,” says Santiago. Moreover, the country will be placed in its most vulnerable state when “The Big One” strikes and devastates Metro Manila. Primarily, the country’s capital contributes 40% of the economy and its nearby provinces largely depend on it. Hence, public information and basic knowledge on safety precautions and contingency plans were given to equip participants and download it to their local churches or institutions.

Ms. Levy Gutierrez, ADRA personnel, personally urged that this forum takes place the soonest because of the recent earthquakes affecting the province of Batangas and those were also felt in Metro Manila. She invoked the participants to prepare our churches and families, using the right information as guide, so we could extend help to others and make our churches as “refuge” when the Big One comes. “Kung handa ka, mas makakatulong ka,” Gutierrez urged.

Aside from the discussions, the participants were able to ask questions during the forum and were encouraged to join the afternoon workshop on making safety plans to prepare our churches and families as well.

Indeed, the information provided during the preparedness forum will create a big impact when it reaches local church families and individuals. As Santiago explains, “Hindi pwedeng kapag tinamaan na tayo, doon pa lang natin aalamin ang gagawin natin.” Like the old adage says, “Prevention is better than cure.” But, safety plans and awareness lessen the risk of liability in the society.

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