Last Friday, February 23, 2018, PLDT wireless unit Smart Communications has organized a whole-day workshop of “training of trainers” of the Tropang Ready Program for students of University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines in Cagayan de Oro City (USTP-CDO) to equip them with skills to be able to conduct their own preparedness lessons for members of their communities.
TNT Tropang Ready is an initiative under Smart’s advocacy for a #SafePH, which promotes preparedness through mobile solutions and on-ground activities to help communities mitigate disaster risks.
It consists of three phases: first is a general assembly of participants, second is the training of trainers and the last one is the cascading of knowledge and expertise to their respective communities.
The first phase took place last year, a few weeks after a large population of USTP-CDO students were stranded inside their campus as heavy rains and neck-deep flooding hit the city. More than 2,000 students attended the TNT Tropang Ready disaster preparedness caravan initiated by Smart at their university. The event featured talks and disaster preparedness lessons by emergency management experts and representatives from the local government, disaster risk reduction and management office, University of the Philippines Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards (UP Noah) Center, and Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs), among other organizations.
Just last weekend, the Tropang Ready program continued on its second phase for the training of trainers activity. Smart tapped the expertise of Louie Domingo and Tan Palma of Emergency Management Center. They taught the participants how to prepare for and what to do during typhoons, earthquakes, landslides and tsunamis, among other calamities.
Among the lessons they taught the students were first aid and self-defense techniques, and pointers on how to assemble a “Go Bag” or an “e-Balde,” an emergency kit meant to help an individual or a family survive the next few days following a calamity. The kit included canned food, water, flashlight, batteries, cell phone and an umbrella, among other essentials.
Here’s a quick video of the event:
Attendees were likewise tapped to be part of the Tropang Ready community on Facebook, where they could meet online with members of other Tropang Ready schools and share ideas on preparedness and response efforts in their own areas, among other topics.
The young members of the society play an important role in disaster preparedness, according to Ramon R. Isberto, PLDT and Smart public affairs head.
They have the mobility, the skills, the technological know-how—they have what it takes to spread the culture of preparedness,
TNT Tropang Ready aims to turn the youth into ambassadors of preparedness in their own communities. We are also working to help include disaster preparedness in the educational curriculum,
said Smart community partnerships senior manager Nova Concepcion, noting that the goal of the workshop was to enable the students to conduct trainings in their own communities as part of their school’s extension program.