Team Pangasinan wins 1st Nat’l Rescue and
Disaster Response Contest
Legazpi City, Albay - - Team Pangasinan emerged victorious in the first-ever National Rescue and Disaster Response Competition (NRDRC) held last July 26 to 31 here.
Pangasinan was the event champion for Water Rescue scenario and bagged the first runner-up in Collapsed Structure Scenario.
Major Arthur Sawate of Bureau of Fire, member of team Pangasinan said, “Eagerness ang nagpanalo sa amin, yung attitude namin na pag sinimulan ay gusto naming tapusin at ito rin yung nagbibigay ng lakas sa atin.”
Also, the team thanked Governor Amado T. Espino, Jr., for his support and for providing them the equipment needed.
“Ito ay naging possible dahil sa suporta ng ating Provincial Government, lalong-lalo na kay Governor Espino kasi po pag wala ang inyong suporta palagay ko ganun din kami sa ibang teams na kulang-kulang ang gamit at saka kulang ng preparation”, Sawate said.
Team Pangasinan was pitted against seven other teams, Saranggani Province; Malaybalay City, Bukidnon; Naga City, Tabaco City, Legazpi City,Rapu-Rapu Polymetallic, Inc. and the 9th Infantry Division of Philippine Army to showcase their skills in tackling different rescue scenarios over three days.
Earlier in the competition, Team Pangasinan impressed other teams due to their complete and state-of-the-art equipment and was expected to be the National Champion.
Team Pangasinan had the chance of winning the competition without giving other teams a fight due to disqualification for not having the proper equipment needed for the competition but Pangasinan chooses to give them a chance, and resume the competition.
Dr. Eloy Bueno, Team captain of Pangasinan said, “We are not here for the money, we are here to learn and sharpen our skills in disaster rescue response.”
“Dalawang linggo yung ginawa naming preparasyon para sa competition na ito, ang Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council (PDCC) ang nagconduct sa amin ng training na ito, sayang naman kung ganun lang na ihihinto natin ang competition,” Sawate said.
Jojo Elvira, Jr., event coordinator of the NRDRC said, Albay was chosen to be the venue because it is always threatened by calamities throughout the year.
“Kaya dito natin gaganapin sa Albay kasi tuwing may bagyo dito maraming namamatay dahil sa baha, gusto naming i-share ang aming knowledge sa disaster response at recue, and at the same time, gusto rin naming matuto sa ibang mga teams na sasali dito sa competition na to,” Elvira added.
The competition promotes the importance of an organized rescue group; its knowledge and application techniques, equipment use and a command system for teams engage in search and rescue operation.
Meanwhile, Last minute changes of scoring system was made by the judges that blocked the Pangasinan Team which was expected to take the overall championship title.
Due to some participants not willing to finish the Rough Terrain scenario, Col. Guillermo Molina, one of the Board of Judges said, “because there were no team to finish the third event, gagawin na lang nating zero ang points ng lahat ng teams sa event na ito at tatanggalin na lang natin ang rough terrain scenario.”
But according to the written guideline given for Rough Terrain scenario Rule #11 –Scoring and Tiebreaking, “failing to complete entire contents of any problem may result in points lost. Scoring will be given only on that part of the problem completed.”
This prompted team Pangasinan to express their dismay prior to the late notification and for nullifying the third scenario, the said changes were announced on the day of awarding.
Major Arthur Sawate said, “with regards doon sa pagpili ng champion, medyo napasama ang loob namin, dahil yung third event biglang zero lahat, samantalang kami ang lamang, hindi lang namin natapos kasi naubusan kami ng oras at saka hindi kami sumuko doon hindi tulad ng ibang mga teams. Tapos ngayon lang nila sasabihin yung biglang pagbabago ng guidelines. Sana kinonsider na lang nila kung sino yung may pinakamaraming stage na natapos sa third event.”
Dr. Bueno cited that coordinators should have foreseen some of the problems that may arise during a competition, especially when they are the host province.
“Dapat bago magsimula ang competition magkaroon sila ng clear guidelines at rules, dapat mayroon silang expectations na gaya ng pag di natapos yung event para alam ng mga participating teams kung ano ang gagawin nila, kung alam lang namin na ganyan pala ang mangyayari hindi na sana kami nagpagod”, Sawate added.
The P300,000 pot money that should be awarded to the overall champion will be divided to the winners for each scenario. P75,000 for the event champion, P50,000 for the first runner-up and 25,000 for the second runner-up.
Still, Team Pangasinan acknowledged the other winners, illustrating sportsmanship and camaraderie, and said, “We learned a lot – from the scenarios and the other teams, and we would like to thank them for that. We will strive to strengthen our weaknesses, and most importantly, we are all one when disaster strikes.” (PIO/Darwin Magalong)