AKLAN, Philippines – The Boracay Inter-Agency Task Force (BIATF) wants to enhance the capacity and capability of public emergency services on Boracay Island after a boat carrying the Boracay Dragon Boat Team recently capsized, leaving 7 members dead.
Boracay Inter-Agency Rehabilitation Group (BIARG) General Manager Natividad Bernardino said that there will be a comprehensive reassessment of the emergency response programs of different government agencies during disasters or emergency situations.
“Titingnan natin ang mga kapasidad ng iba’t ibang ahensiya ng gobyerno na involved sa quick emergency response, kung may kakulangan at problema na kailangang punuan sa kanilang mga logistics at resources. Dapat may emergency hotlines na rin na maaaring tawagan ang mga tao na apektado ng mga tradheya,” Bernardino said.
(We will look into the capacity of each government agency involved in quick emergency response, if there are limitations and problems that need to be addressed in terms of logistics and resources. There should be emergency hotlines available that people affected by tragedies could call.)
On Monday, September 30, the Philippine National Police (PNP) Maritime Group, local government units, the Philippine Coast Guard, the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, and Boracay’s water sports associations will review existing protocols to create a unified and concrete approach to emergency management.
“In the future, kapag may comprehensive emergency response program ay maayos na tayong makakatugon sa mga emergencies and disasters. We could also recommend to the Boracay task force para mabibigyan ito ng kaukulang suporta,” Bernardino said.
(Having a comprehensive emergency response program will help us respond better to emergencies and disasters in the future. We could also recommend additional support to the Boracay task force.)
On Wednesday, September 25, a 21-member team of Boracay Dragon Force was training off the shoreline of Barangay Manoc-Manoc when their boat overturned, lashed by strong waves.
“Nabalitaan natin na mabagal ang emergency response ng mga ahensiya ng gobyerno, dahil mga maliliit na bangka ang naunang nakatulong sa kanila,” Bernardino said.
(We learned that the emergency of response of government agencies were slow. Small bancas were the first to help the dragon boat team members.)
Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu has suspended all dragon boat activities in Boracay Island as government reviews their training protocols. – Rappler.com