We urge government agencies such as the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), and the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) to offer the public basic safety training courses for free.
Doing so will not only equip citizens with skills needed in cases of emergency but will also beef up the government's volunteer reserves.
We have seen that with the recent flooding that hit Metro Manila, we are severely lacking in manpower that could help in rescue operations. Even if our countrymen heed the call to volunteer during rescue operations, they are ill-equipped to deal with emergency situations. It would be very much like deploying troops to a gun battle without the necessary firearms.
Alam na nga natin na bawat taon ay tinatamaan tayo ng napakaraming bagyo, ganito pa rin ang nangyayari taun-taon—at palala pa nang palala ang sitwasyon. We should invest a significant amount of resources on beefing up our infrastructure and equipping our people with life-saving skills so that more lives will be saved when disasters and emergencies strike.
Hindi natin puwedeng sabihin na ‘ganyan na talaga’ dahil hindi tama na taun-taon na lang ay nalalagay sa panganib ang mga tao dahil lang sa pag-ulan na ni hindi pa nga ‘supertyphoon.’ For drastic change to happen, then we must also do drastic actions and do things differently. In this case, doing things differently can be literally a matter of life and death.