COTABATO CITY – The Ministry of the Interior and Local Government (MILG), through its Rapid Emergency Action on Disaster Incidence (READi), has commenced this year’s Water Search and Rescue (WASAR) training program with 61 completers from the mainland provinces.
WASAR is one of the specialized trainings designed by READi aimed at improving the preparedness of the region in responding to natural calamities and disasters.
From February 24-March 2, the completers have undergone rigorous training on basic firefighting techniques, water safety and rescue, basic scuba, use of machine and power tools, and small boat operation. The training was conducted in partnership with the Army’s 6th Infantry Division Training School.
Composed of men and women, some of the participants were from the municipalities of Marantao, Buadipuso-Buntong, and Ditsaan-Rahmain in Lanao del Sur, while the rest were from Sultan sa Barongis, Talitay, Raja Buayan, Barira, Paglas, Datu Saudi, and Pandag in Maguindanao. Provincial Disaster and Risk Reduction Management Office (PDRRMO) of Lanao del Sur also participated in the activity.
“As we know, this training is highly relevant in our context and proven to be effective as they have been used by other municipalities in responding to disaster,” said Executive Assistant (EA) Norhasim Sinarimbo who represented MILG Minister Atty. Naguib Sinarimbo.
Since its launching on November 11-17, 2019, a total of 532 individuals have already completed the WASAR training.
EA Sinarimbo shared that previous completers of WASAR have made notable contributions in responding to disasters.
“During the flooding in Bubong, Lanao del Sur at the height of Typhoon Odette, the search and rescue deployed by the MDRRMO (municipal disaster risk reduction and management office) were fresh graduates of WASAR training. Similarly, in Ditsaan Ramain, they have also used their WASAR skills in retrieving a resident who drowned in Lake Lanao,” said Sinarimbo.
Stressing the importance of disaster preparedness, EA Sinarimbo affirmed that the same training is underway for participants from the Island provinces of Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi. (Abdullah Matucan/BIO)