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Manila crisis management committee proposed

A Crisis Management Committee that will take the lead in handling crises and emergencies is being mulled by the city government of Manila following the recent blasts in Quiapo.

The CMC will be composed of a chairperson and its members, which should be the point person of the LGU’s medical services, legal services, logistics, community relations, public safety and security, social services and other technical advisers, if needed.

Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada said he believes that with an organized CMC in place, the city government will be able to respond faster to all types of natural and manmade calamities and disasters by effectively utilizing all its available assets under a single command-and-control system.

“In every crisis, we should have a joint task force ready to carry out, in a moment’s notice, all the aspects of crisis management such as police response, public information, social services, and rescue and relief efforts, because we’re dealing here with the safety and security of the public and the peace and stability of the City of Manila,” he said.

Estrada said that Manila Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Committee head Johnny Yu will sit as chairperson of the City Peace and Order Council, which will draft the guidelines in the creation of a local CMC as mandated by Executive Order No. 320 reorganizing the Peace and Order Councils in every local government unit.

Yu, who proposed the idea to Estrada, underscored the importance of having a crisis management committee in place after the Quiapo blasts and the foiled bombing of the US Embassy on Roxas Boulevard last November.

“Ang nangyayari kasi, MPD na bahala, MPD na bahala” because it is a security matter,” Yu said, referring to the Manila Police District. “But we weren’t able to utilize all our concerned city hall departments that can contribute so much to our emergency response.”

He said the Department of Interior and Local Government has been urging the LGUs to create its CMCs under their respective peace and order councils “to take decisive actions to resolve crisis or emergency.”

Yu said that in the case of the latest Quiapo blast, CMC should have been activated immediately to lead not only the police follow-up operations and investigations but also in the delivery of assistance to the victims, public information, and coordination with the national government agencies and law enforcement units.

“We need a crisis management committee especially in this kind na parang may terrorist involvement na nakakabulabog sa entire city, and may rumors pa na ISIS daw. ‘Eto palang dapat nasagot na agad-agad,” the MDRRMO chief said. (Jaimie Rose A. Aberia)