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A fiber glass boat of the Philippine Coast Guard cruise along the waters of Butuan Bay as part of the training on boat handling with an out board motor in Barangay Masao, Butuan City. Photo by Erwin M. Mascariñas

Agusan Norte, Coast Guard raring to enhance disaster response skills

By Erwin M. Mascariñas
Correspondent .

Butuan City — The province of Agusan del Norte and the Philippine Coast Guard (PSG) are looking into finding more means to have and conduct safety and rescue training as part of the mitigating measures towards addressing capabilities against disaster emergency scenarios.

“We hope that we can have safer survival and rescue technique training that can be initiated throughout the province. Right now, we have doubled our efforts in making sure that most of the municipal local government units are capable in responding to disaster rescue operations,” said JV Pagaran, training division chief of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (PDRRMO)

Pagaran stated that initial steps are underway to seek more professional training address towards capability building in terms of the skills of personnel.

“We actually just culminated a seven-day training on Sunday that was attended by 24 participants but reduced to 19 as the rigid physical training worn out some of our participants,” said Pagaran.

Pagaran added, “The participants came from the provinces of Agusan del Norte from the different DRRM offices of the towns of Carmen, Nasipit, Buenavista and Las Nieves. The last training which involved the other towns of the province came was conducted two years ago, in 2016.”

The PDRRMO official pointed out that having more frequent training would be a huge advantage, unfortunately, budgetary constraints play a crucial rule in conducting more related activities.

Petty Officer 2 Skipper H. Monding, one of the officer’s in-change of the safety and rescue training of the PSG in Caraga Region explained the rule of the PSG in providing support to local DRRMO units.

“The PSG has been a partner to our local LGU’s in assisting in providing skill-based knowledge and in conducting the training of the participants. Safety, search and rescue training are very essential in the capacity building of the provincial and municipal DRRMO’s across the region,” said Monding.

“When we receive the request from LGU’s, we will give out our assistance in giving out the training needed. And share our knowledge especially on water rescue capability, we also give out training on underwater knot tying, survival swims from 600 meters to about 1000 meters and boat handling with an outboard motor,” he added.

Evelyn Seraspe, a staff of the DRR in the town of Las Nieves who recently attended the weeklong training safety and rescue training expressed how important such training for LGU’s.

“Flooding has been a constant constraint on communities several communities in Las Nieves, people eventually would call for help and for rescue operations, unfortunately, there are only a few that are really trained for such situation. Having more individuals with the kind of training needed could enable better disaster emergency rescue response capability,” said Seraspe.


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