All SM Supermalls in Metro Manila have taken part in the nationwide earthquake drill spearheaded by the Metro Manila Development Authority, setting a new record in their time of complete evacuation to just five (5) minutes.
Engr. Bien Mateo, Vice President for Mall Operations, who said that this year’s event was much bigger since aside from the 20 SM malls in Metro Manila, SM Residences and SM office buildings have participated in the drill.
It is estimated that more than 24,000 employees, tenants and customers in all SM developments in Metro Manila participated in the earthquake drill spearheaded by the Metro Manila Development Authority.
Mateo stated that all their tenants and personnel have taken part in the drill that started at exactly 9 a.m. today. In the Mall of Asia Arena Annex (MAAX) Building in Pasay City, the main office of SM Supermalls, it took only employees and tenants five minutes to leave the building, an improved record of their previous 7 minutes.
Royce Cabunag, AVP for Operations said the twice a year earthquake drill they conduct was instrumental in the improved period of evacuation. “We do this not just once a year but twice a year because we want to make (Disaster Risk Reduction) DRR a way of life for all our employees and tenants and it is bearing fruit as we have witnessed today that it took all our employees and tenants five minutes to completely get out of our building,” he pointed out.
All malls and buildings had realistic scenarios simulating a real earthquake, including trapped and missing employees. Rescue operations were also simulated.
Mateo said the increased participation in the Metro Manila Shake Drill is part of the Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) program of the government and one of the commitments of SM Prime President Hans Sy, to the UNISDR ARISE program in energizing the private sector on disaster preparedness.
“SM has increased its participation in this worthwhile cause because we believe that through preparation, proper coordination and enough know-how, we will be able to survive any calamity, including earthquakes. We are fully supportive of this endeavor,” Mateo said.