THE 16 mayors of Metro Manila’s cities and one municipality should adopt the Quezon City government’s “interoperability and coordination capabilities” in crisis management, as it unifies all needed government agencies.
In Quezon City Mayor Herbert M. Bautista, who is also the chairman of the Metro Manila Peace and Order Council (MMPOC), said his administration makes sure of the “interoperability and coordination capabilities” of the local government, law-enforcement group and emergency response agencies every time there is a crisis situation.
Bautista noted the importance and necessity of unity and coordination among the stakeholders in order to save the lives of the public.
However, the mayor admitted the concept should not be fixed and stagnant.
He said the city government, law-enforcement groups like the police and the Army, and the different emergency response teams “should continuously enhance their interoperability and coordination capabilities.”
This means that the coordination and unity by the Quezon City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (QCDRRMO), the Quezon City Police District (QCPD), the Philippine Army (PA), the Philippine Red Cross and other agencies are not enough.
Bautista stressed this point after he discovered in an antiterrorism and crisis-management simulation exercise done by the QCDRRMO, QCPD, PA and the Philippine Red Cross just recently in Cubao, Quezon City, that there is a need to further improve interoperability and coordination capabilities of those who took part in the antiterrorism drill.
The Public Affairs and Information Service Office (Paiso), headed by Ares P. Gutierrez, said the purpose of the drill was to “assess how law-enforcement units, the city government and non-governmental organizations will respond to crisis situations.”
Bautista emphasized the necessity of the concerned authorities and public-safety enforcers “to work together, unlike before where agencies take actions independently.”
“Before, all are working independently. This time, it is a composite. Before, it was only the police force that did the job. Today, the Army, the local government units (LGUs), and even the Red Cross are also part of the activity. Thus, there is a need to enhance the relationship among the stakeholders, including the proper coordination so that in case the crisis comes, at least all are prepared,” Bautista said.
QCDRRMO chief Michael Marasigan underscored the important role being played by what he called “responsible official.”
Marasigan said the designated responsible official is the one who calls the shots during a crisis situation.
The idea was adopted by the QCDRRMO based on Bautista’s concept of “Incident Command System.”
Public safety is very important to the Bautista administration, thus, the mayor stressed his administration “invested heavily on public safety.”
He said his administration purchased equipment for the law-enforcement units to ensure they are prepared during crisis situation.
He said the city government discovered the lack of robotics in QCPD. He promised to purchase this soon.
Bautista added he is very willing to share to other LGUs his administration’s crisis-management program for the sake of keeping the public safe.