June 2, 2023

We always prepare for the worst case scenario,” said the Institutional Safety, Security and Emergency Services Office (ISSESO) Director Michael Kasilag during the volcanic eruption drill for college and senior high school (SHS) students, Feb. 13. 

The ISSESO, headed by Mr. Kasilag, reminds the college student body about the safety protocols in the event of a volcanic eruption. (K. Afurong)

Simulating the event of an intense volcanic eruption, Kasilag mandated the immediate evacuation of all students within the college and SHS area instructing them to head towards the Sports Complex for safety. 

“Kapag pumutok siya [Taal Volcano] pero gradual lang katulad nung [January] 12, mage-early dismissal lang tayo. This preparation is for the worst case scenario na wala tayong warning [at] bigla siyang pumutok,” Kasilag said.  

Students in the CBEAM building move to the Sports Complex after the alarm. (L. Viñas)

At  8 a.m., a siren blared through the public address system as a signal for the students and faculty to mobilize. The drill was executed in 13 minutes after the warning.

“Ang instructions kasi sa guards is to guide them dito [sa Sports Complex] so the gates will be closed. Ang dilemma ko lang kasi kung magkaroon ng volcanic eruption, lahat ng services sa labas titigil yan,” Kasilag said.

Kasilag also emphasized that the school would rather hold the students in the campus than risk their safety in the event of panicking outside the school. 

College students listening to the drill instructions despite some commotion. (K. Afurong)

However, the lack of full participation from students and faculty resulted in varied opinions regarding its effectiveness. 

“Hindi pa clear kung ano ‘yung gagawin kasi hindi naman lahat naka-attend ng orientation. Parang nagulantang ang lahat kung anong gagawin at kung saan pupunta,” said Glyza Dimaculangan, a second-year BS Accounting Information System (AIS)

“I doubt ‘yung napractice kanina is ma-apply natin sa mismong eruption na,” said Meilin Medrana, a second-year BS AIS.

ISSESO head reiterated that they have oriented the deans to instruct the faculty under the department to help them control the students since the security ratio is only one personnel for every 500 students. 

Taal Volcano released phreatic eruptions last Jan. 12 which prompted De La Salle Lipa (DLSL) to suspend classes until the last week of January. 

The DLSL campus  lies 17.6 kilometers away from the Taal Volcano crater as measured in the HazardHunterPH, or just outside the danger zone identified by Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology

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