The UST College of Nursing International Relations and Programs committee, headed by Asst. Professor Elizabeth D. Cortez, MAN, RN, in cooperation with the Nursing Central Board of Students (NCBS), hosted a conference entitled “Disaster Preparedness and Business/Healthcare Seminar” on October 13, 2016 at the St. Martin de Porres Building Cinematorium. This event was attended by renowned national and international experts who were invited guest speakers and faculty, administrators, and staff of different hospitals and colleges of nursing. This aimed to raise public awareness about the disaster spectrum preparation and management.
Dr. Carl Taylor, J.D., the Executive Director of Fraser Institute for Risk and Analysis delivered a tele-conference via BlackBoard Collaborate about clinical perspectives related to the Zika Virus Pandemic, while Ms. Angela Medina, MPA, RN discussed about healthcare continuity and hospital emergency response. The United States Embassy of the Philippines Vice-Consul Lyndsey Yoshino-Spencer conversed about the USA State Department Emergency Management. Further, Dr. Renato U. Solidum, the Director of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) talked about on the preparation for “The Big One or the West Valley Fault Earthquake Scenario.” His discussion centered on the preparation, roles, and responsibilities in the event of natural hazards. He was quoted as saying, “Governance is not only the responsibility of the government officials and employees but also of the Filipino citizens”. An open forum was held after each talk for any questions and inquiries regarding the discussions.
A Panel Discussion on Collaborative Disaster Preparedness & Management filled the afternoon session. It started with a thematic presentation on “Earthquake Preparedness” and “Hospital Disaster Preparedness” delivered by PHIVOLCS Director Dr. Solidum and Dr. Jaime Amora, the President of the Philippine Hospital Association. Both talks put emphasis on the need for linkages and various government and non-government organizations that Filipino citizens can approach in times of disaster. A discussion on Financial and Resource Management in Disaster was delivered by Mr. Antonio Grageda, a former director of Crisis Management Office of Bangko Sentral of the Philippines, and Mr. Eugene Daga, a member of the Board of Directors and Business Continuity Manager of BDO Unibank, Inc. It was stressed that aside from allocating adequate resources for crisis management, the development of a contingency plan must also be given priority. Likewise, the formulation of a business continuity plan can help the University to recover and resume its operations after a disaster. Finally, Ms. Mayfourth Luneta, Deputy Executive Director, Center for Disaster Preparedness Foundation, focused on Disaster Preparedness on a State or Regional Level. Her discussion encompassed disaster concepts such as vulnerability and capacity and Community Based Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (CBDRRM), with emphasis on the roles of the health workers before, during, and after disasters.