Agos holds #MMShakeDrill workshop for racers, volunteers

Mary Gleefer Jalea

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Agos holds #MMShakeDrill workshop for racers, volunteers
Ahead of Metro Manila's earthquake drill on June 22, various groups learn how to develop a culture of disaster preparedness

MANILA, Philippines – Rescue groups, local government officials, racers, and volunteers from various organizations are preparing for the June 22 #MMShakeDrill. 

To help them, Agos, powered by eBayanihan and in partnership with the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), held a workshop on Saturday, June 18.

The workshop focused on how these groups can help in the earthquake drill happening on June 22

The second quarter National Simultaneous Earthquake Drill, known online as #Pagyanig, will also take place at the same time. (READ: #Pagyanig: NDRRMC holds nationwide simultaneous earthquake drill)

“MMDA also looks after public safety; not just floods, not just the traffic,” said Ramon Santiago, a consultant from the MMDA Flood Control Information Center. 

Santiago noted that the MMDA’s #MMShakeDrill initiative is the cheapest way to cultivate a culture of disaster preparedness among citizens. He added that “when one already knows the problem, that already partly solves the problem.”

The first Metro Manila Shake Drill held July 30 last year brought together communities, businesses, the health sector, schools, and religious groups to participate in the simulation of different emergency responses. 

The earthquake drill is a preparation for a potentially devastating earthquake that could result from the movement of the West Valley Fault. The West Valley Fault, which traverses parts of Metro Manila and nearby provinces, is expected to move within our lifetime. 

“Earthquakes don’t kill; buildings do,” Santiago reminded the audience composed of volunteer and racers. According to him, studies show that nearby low-rise structures are more at risk in case “the Big One” strikes. 

Aside from the enhancement of individual and institutional earthquake emergency response skills, this year’s earthquake drill aims to test existing earthquake contingency plans, as well as identify gaps.

“We are hoping that we can sustain what we started and hopefully institutionalize this, most especially for the generations that have not experienced the big earthquakes,” said Santiago.

How social media saves lives

Participants in the workshop were also taught how to deliver online information, most especially in times of disaster. 

“Everything starts in the value of information. It is our responsibility to share information with people who need it the most,” said Rupert Ambil, executive director of MovePH, Rappler’s civic engagement arm.

Ambil noted that there are around 46 million Facebook users in the Philippines as of September 2015. “What information should you disseminate to benefit the people?” he asked. 

Ambil also introduced Agos and shared how it harnesses the power of technology and citizen engagement to achieve disaster reduction and help communities deal with natural hazards and disasters in the country.

MovePH director Zak Yuson, meanwhile, emphasized that engagement, environment, and action are some of the tools that help in effective communication.

“If you cannot engage your stakeholders, you will not keep them in the message,” Yuson said.

He added that “more than just changing behavior, you are also changing lives on the ground.” – 

For more details about the #MMShakeDrill, visit

Mary Gleefer Jalea is a Rappler intern. She studies at the University of Asia and the Pacific.

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