Commission on Audit

Too heavy? COA tells Palace staff to ‘reevaluate’ emergency kit content

Too heavy? COA tells Palace staff to ‘reevaluate’ emergency kit content
The Commission on Audit says the weight of each emergency kit – 16 pounds – can 'pose a challenge' to Presidential Management Staff employees during disasters

The Commission on Audit (COA) ordered the Presidential Management Staff (PMS) to reevaluate the content of emergency kits after 500 bags it distributed in 2019 were found to be too heavy.

The kits, also called “go bags,” are put together in case of disaster and should include all necessary items for survival for 72 hours, or until help and relief arrive. (READ: How to prepare for typhoon hazards during a pandemic)

But COA, in its audit, found that each bag that the PMS distributed to its personnel in 2019 weighed 16 pounds, or almost 7.5 kilos, which can “pose a challenge to employees.”

“During the earthquake in September 2019, only one person was able to bring with him his emergency go bag from among the personnel in the office at that time,” state auditors said.

Each bag contains different types of food such as canned goods, instant noodles, and drinking water. It also has hygiene supplies and survival tools, including a 10-meter rope.

What it does not have is a list of emergency hotlines, such as contact numbers for the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council and the Philippine National Police, among others.

The PMS agreed with COA’s recommendations to reduce each bag’s weight and add the hotlines. –