(Tenant employees walk briskly to evacuation area of SM City Telabastagan. Contributed photo)
AS PRACTICED, SM malls in the City of San Fernando once again participated in the Nationwide Simultaneous Earthquake Drill (NSED), a quarterly National Distaste Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC)-led activity that seeks to educate public on disaster preparedness against earthquakes and to showcase government capability on disaster response.
SM malls in Pampanga, Telabastagan, San Fernando Downtown and Savemore Market Apalit held simulations on earthquake and evacuation participated by employees, tenants, staff and encouraged customers on its continuous promotion in providing education and awareness to its front liners and partners on these natural and/or man-made catastrophe through conducting regular seminars on safety and evacuation.
Overall, a total of over 2,340 participants with 1,225 in SM Pampanga, 710 in Telabastagan, 404 in San Fernando Downtown and Savore Apalit which includes customers, tenants/affiliates, BPO and SM employees and agencies participated in the drill. Long-time partners from the local government units present are Philippine National Police (PNP), Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (PDRRMO), City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (CDRRMO) who also provide trainings and in close coordination with SM malls on earthquake and fire simulations.
Following the next day, a simulation exercise of a bombing incident and active shooter take place at SM City Pampanga Amphitheatre. The Pampanga 1st Provincial Mobile Force Company of Pampanga Police Provincial Office, headed by Provincial Director PSSupt. Jean Fajardo and Lieutenant Colonel Michael Masangkay, display its capability in responding to a hostile situation in terms of manpower, mobility, expertise and professionalism.
PNP-PPO has chosen to perform the bombing scenario at the vacant lot of SM City Pampanga to ensure safety among shoppers, employees and structures of the said mall. Moreover, PPO deploy personnel in the nearby establishments and barangays to inform the populace about the simulation exercise. Fireball is used to simulate the loud explosion which is safe and fragment- less explosive device.
Provincial Director PSSupt. Jean Fajardo said the mall’s regular holding of drills and trainings especially to its security personnel play a vital role in the establishment as they are considered the first line of defense. SM City Pampanga Mall Manager Aaron Montenegro said the mall supports the PNP-PPO in its effort to serve, protect and secure the people and continue the partnership in terms of trainings and drills in the mall.
Other partner agencies in the simulation exercise are Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT), Scene of the Crime Operatives (SOCO), San Fernando Rescue Unit (SAFRU), Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (PDRRMO), City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (CDRRMO).