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First responders to any natural or man-made calamities should factor in the impact on jobs and livelihood to improve disaster mitigation and response plans, Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila President Emmanuel Leyco said.

President Leyco opened the webinar hosted by the Office of the National Service Training Program on Sunday, November 29, which sought to tackle Disaster Awareness, Preparedness and Management. The recent series of typhoons provided insights into the country’s disaster preparation and relief efforts, with typhoon Ulysses proving to be the most damaging in recent history.

Beyond shaming residents as “pasaway” for trying to stay by their homes even when they are located in disaster-prone areas when calamities hit, the University President said there should be more considerations in terms of providing relief.

“Filipinos who refuse to evacuate worry about their livelihoods as they will not find the same job opportunities. Farmers and fishermen, for example, have to save what they can from their harvests,” President Leyco said in his opening speech. “We have to factor in such considerations in designing our disaster response plans. Each strategy must be forward-looking and should include scenario forecasting.”

President Leyco, who once served as officer-in-charge of the Department of Social Welfare and Development, likewise stressed the importance of prepositioning relief packs and quick response funds to ensure fast and smooth provision of needs to displaced families.

“Rescue efforts are not a matter of brute strength. It is a function of efficient planning and strategic service delivery and deployment,” he added.

The Sunday morning session also equipped NSTP students with a crash course on providing of basic life support. Robert Caballes, a nurse and national trainer on life support training, provided tips on the do’s and don’ts when handling medical emergencies, especially on first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation or CPR.

Caballes provided concrete steps on reviving a patient, as well as in calling for urgent medical help during cases of choking, stroke, or heart attack. There were also pointers on how to save drowning victims.

The series of NSTP seminars seek to equip PLM students with technical know-how and confidence in dealing with emergencies, in keeping with its mandate of directly contributing to nation-building.