29/06/2010: PHILIPPINE CONSULATE GENERAL IN SAN FRANCISCO HOLDS SEMINAR ON DISASTER AND EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS
The Philippine Consulate General in San Francisco together with the Cavalier Cyber Prayer Warriors (CCPW) of the Philippine Military Academy Alumni Association of Northern California (PMAAA-NORCAL) held a seminar on
“ Disaster and Emergency Preparedness ” at the Social Hall of the Philippine Center Building, San Francisco last Saturday the 26th of June 2010.
The seminar was organized to basically raise awareness and provide guidance to the Filipino community on disaster preparedness and management. It also meant to establish coordination, collaboration and resiliency in times or emergencies, and to provide guidance and information as well as discuss a structural framework of coordination and action during such eventualities.
Resource persons and experts included Ms. Emily White, Manager-Emergency Preparedness Education from the U.S. Red Cross, Col. Butch Moreto, Col. Anthony de Guzman (Ret.) and Col. Rafael Marfori (Ret.) from CCPW who spoke about their organization and its programs, working models and various endeavors towards emergency and disaster preparedness. The Red Cross offered to train Trainers in their 18 - hour intensive NERT (Neighborhood Emergency Response Team) training program.
CCPW gave a brief on their proposed model of a Neighborhood-based emergency/disaster preparedness organizational structure for the FilAm community, which could further be expanded to the rest of the Bay area and the rest of California.
Consul General Marciano A. Pay nor Jr. welcomed and commended the enthusiastic attendance of the FilAm community and discussed the Consulate General’s role in the proposed organization structure at the community / civic society level and at the host government / public sector level He also discussed the Consulate General’s operations and courses of action through a Rapid Deployment Team during emergencies and disasters while underscoring the need to immediately set up a emergency registry database - one of the key elements towards institutionalizing emergency and disaster preparedness endeavors.
Collateral material from the abovementioned agencies as well as those from the Office of Foreign Missions (OFM) of the Department of State in San Francisco, the Federal Emergency Management Agency of the Department of Homeland Security collected and consolidated by the Consulate General, were distributed during the seminar. Complimentary essential emergency/ disaster items such as whistles and pocket flashlights were also given out by the Consulate General.
An open forum followed the presentations during which numerous comments, suggestions, sharing of experiences, recommendations and commendations from the Filipino community came to fore.
The seminar elicited an immediate positive response from its audience on the importance of increasing the awareness and preparedness of the Filipino American community. As Consul General Paynor remarked to everyone to “spread the word “ he furthered that the seminar is just the start of individual and collective viable courses of action of the Philippine Consulate General, the members of the FilAm community and other stakeholders from the private and public sector, towards enhanced emergency / disaster awareness and preparedness capability.