Makati barangays show what to do during an earthquake

MANILA, Philippines – Four barangays in Makati City participated in #OplanPagyanig, a national simultaneous earthquake drill, spearheaded by the Office of Civil Defense on Thursday, July 23. 

Barangays Comembo, Pembo, East Rembo, and Rizal – areas which are traversed by the 100-kilometer West Valley Fault – joined the 4-phase drill. (READ: 57 subdivisions, villages traversed by West Valley Fault)

The drill began with the blaring of sirens across all 4 barangays at 9 am. Emergency response personnel also used improvised warning materials, including whistles, colored flags, and bullhorns.

Phase 2 involved the initial response and protective action of residents, where they performed the "Duck, Cover, and Hold."

In Phase 3, designated team leaders and street marshals guided participating residents to various evacuation areas.

Lastly, different earthquake scenarios – like fire incidents, fallen boulders, liquefaction, and collapsed structure – were simulated to test the disaster response mechanisms of the barangays. Residents were also tapped for simulated rescue operations.

Each barangay had its own command post, information desk, medical treatment stations, and holding areas for evacuation. 

Acting Makati City Mayor Romulo Peña Jr said the drill was "very successful." (READ: How Makati village along faultline prepares for the 'Big One')

He lauded the participants for fully utilizing the barangays' services and equipment for the drill. 

"Nakita kong mabuti how they dramatized ang kanilang natutunan sa pagre-rescue (I saw how well they dramatized what they learned about conducting rescues)," Peña told Rappler via phonecall.

#OplanPagyanig in Makati was organized by the city and barangay disaster risk reduction and management councils; Makati fire, rescue, and police teams; Makati Public Safety Department; Makati Department of Engineering and Public Works; Makati City Information and Community Relations Department; Department of the Interior and Local Government-Makati; Ospital ng Makati; and Red Cross. 

Representatives from the said departments evaluated each barangay based on how available equipment and personnel were utilized and how well residents participated.

Peña said that, aside from plaques, he will personally give a P50,000 incentive to Barangay East Rembo, which scored the highest in the post-drill evaluation with 210 points.

Barangay Pembo will receive P40,000 for its 201 points, Comembo will get P30,000 for its 195 points, and Rizal will receive P20,000 for its 102 points.

The money will be used to fund the DRRM programs of each barangay

#OplanPagyanig's main staging area on July 23 was along 5th Avenue in the Bonifacio Global City (BGC). Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, Philippine Institue of Volcanology and Seismology Director Renato Solidum Jr, Department of Social Welfare and Development Assistant Secretary Vilma Cabrera, and Taguig City Mayor Laarni Cayetano attended the drill, where around 400 people from BGC participated.

This national simultaneous earthquake drill was held a week before the metrowide earthquake drill to be headed by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority and Metro Manila local government units on July 30.

Makati is currently preparing for the Metro Manila earthquake drill. –


Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda writes about politics and women’s rights for Rappler. She covers the House of Representatives and the Office of the Vice President. Got tips? Send her an email at or shoot her a tweet @maracepeda.