In a bid to further enhance the capability of the province’s disaster response teams, the provincial government of South Cotabato has lined up another series of intensive trainings this year.

Milagros Lorca, head of the South Cotabato Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, said preparations are underway for the new round of disaster trainings, which will involve local government search and rescue (SAR) teams.

She said they are specifically finalizing the details of the training program, which will involve two components.

These are the 17-day in-depth SAR training and the five-day special mountain SAR course, she said.

“These are aimed to level up the capability of our SAR teams and personnel, as well as update them on some new mechanisms,” Lorca said.

The official said they added this year the mountain SAR course based on the need of local responders.

She said it will mainly involve mountain-based exercises and simulations on various SAR operations, among them potential plane crashes and the tracking of lost tourists.

These will be focused on the terrains of two of the province’s top mountain resources — the Mt. Matutum volcano, and the famed crater lake Holon and Mt. Melebingoy.

Mt. Matutum, which is considered as an active volcano, straddles the municipalities of Tupi, Polomolok and Tampakan.

Lake Holon (formerly Maughan) and Mt. Melibingoy (formerly Parker) are located in T’boli town.

The two mountains are host to various top adventure attractions that are frequented by local and foreign tourists.

“SAR members from the Armed Forces of the Philippines are expected to participate in these trainings,” Lorca added.(PNA) LAP/AVE/FKA

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