PA system ordinance to make citizens alert

Days after the Davao City Council passed an ordinance requiring all establishments to have a public safety and security announcement system, the Davao City Public Safety and Security Command Center (PSSCC) hopes that this new local law will make the Dabawenyos more alert and responsive in times of emergency and disasters.

PSSCC deputy head Angel Sumagaysay, the one who endorsed the proposal to public safety and security committee chair councilor Maria Belen Sunga Acosta, said that the soon to be ordinance is very timely, considering Davao City is a progressive city, and many infrastructures are being constructed.

The ordinance, which was approved on third and final reading last Thursday, states that the PA system shall be used to announce in a persuasive and audible manner the safety tips on what to do during emergencies and the procedures leading to all emergency units.

It shall cover all establishments with a total floor area of the building, or at least 2,790 square meters.

Sumagaysay said that the proposal came after attending a summit for high rise building, in which the date he did not specify.

He cited the NCCC Ma-a fire incident as one of the reasons why the proposal was crafted.

The 14-year old mall caught fire last December 23, 2017, killing 38 workers, 37 of them were from SSI (Survey Sampling International) business processing outsourcing (BPO) firm and one mall employee who helped rescue trapped SSI workers.

Acosta also proposed the usage of “luminous markings” instead of “luminous paint” for directional signs near stairwells, pathways and all available emergency exits to ensure safety of establishment occupants in time of fire last year.

The public safety and security chief said that the proposed markings, along with the proposed public address system, will further strengthen the mindset of the public, in times of disaster.

“Having public address systems is more effective because it will educate more the public more, especially to those who are in the malls,” Sumagaysay said.

“The problem with signage is that most people do not mostly mind it,” he added.

Police Regional Office 11 (PRO 11) director Chief Supt. Marcelo C. Morales said that the PA system will also be beneficial in the part of the security forces.

“We, the PNP, can issue advisories to the public, informing them not only on emergency and disaster, and crisis management, but also informing them regarding crime prevention tips and how they can report suspected persons,” Morales said.