Have you been to the Subic Bay Freeport Zone lately? Recently, the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) and its strategic partners the Anti-Terrorism Council – Program Management Center (ATC-PMC) and the Project Management Office of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) conducted an anti-terrorism drill at the Subic Water Binictican Water Treatment Plan within the freeport, according to a press statement by the SBMA.
To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the SBMA’s statement. Some parts in boldface…
As part of the national government’s thrust to thwart terrorism in the country, the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), along with other government agencies jointly conducted a simulation exercise at the Subic Water Binictican Water Treatment Plant.
According to SBMA Chairman and Administrator Rolen C. Paulino, the Chemical Biological Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Simulation Exercise 2022 was conducted by the Anti-Terrorism Council – Program Management Center (ATC-PMC) headed by the Project Management Office of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).
The official added that the inter-agency simulation exercise series (IA Simex Series) included personnel from the DILG, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), ATC-PMC, Philippine National Police (PNP), Bureau of Fire Prevention (BFP), Disaster Risk Reduction Management Offices from Bataan and Zambales, Peace and Order Councils of LGUs, CBRN National Team Observers, Subic Water and Sewerage Company, Inc., and the SBMA.
Chairman Paulino further revealed, “The opening scenario during the CBRN Simex was a negotiation between the terrorist group who took over the Subic Water Binictican Water Treatment Plant with plans to contaminate the water supply of Olongapo City. The terrorist group demanded P10 million, along with the release of their comrades. A PNP negotiator then attempted to communicate with the terrorist group.”
“Should negotiations fail, the PNP will cordon off the area while the SBMA Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team conducts a meeting before an insertion operation Following the insertion, SWAT personnel then neutralize the terrorist threat and rescue hostages taken by the terrorists.
“Both the SWAT and the hostages are then thoroughly checked for any chemical, biological,
radiological and nuclear contaminations before they are allowed to conduct further operations.
Debriefing immediately follows after decontamination,” he said.
The official stated that the Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) teams from the AFP and PNP
scout the area for any explosive devices that the terrorist group may have left behind. The SBMA Fire Department and the BFP then carry out extraction of injured victims and live suspects using hazmat suits.
“Medical teams from the SBMA Public Health and Safety Department (PHSD) then immediately attend to the wounded victims, including the terrorists for medical attention,” Paulino said.
DILG Assistant Secretary Brig. Gen. Alexander Macario lauded the participation of various government agencies at the CBRN Simex 2022, citing that with a bit more polishing, the operation would be seamless. He added that the exercise is designed to meet the needs of the particular area in partnership with stakeholders.
Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What can you say about the anti-terrorism drill that was conducted jointly by the SBMA and its strategic partners? Do you believe that the Subic Bay Freeport Zone is secure enough right now? Does the recent drill make you confident about investing in or taking residence in the freeport?
You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.
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