Davao City’s security and safety cluster successfully staged another security simulation exercise (simex) at the Davao City National High School on Tuesday.

The city’s security and safety cluster deployed 222 personnel from the Davao City Police Office, Task Force (TF) Davao, Public Safety Security Command Center (PSSCC), Central 911, Bureau of Fire Protection, City Disaster and Risk Reduction and Management office and other agencies.

Over 20 units of the city’s mobility assets (firetrucks, ambulances, rescue trucks, etc.) were deployed in the area.

This year’s simex is the longest so far, taking up more than two hours (3 p.m. to 5 p.m.) to execute.

TF Davao Commander Col. Darren Comia said that “overall, the simulation exercise is a success”, thanking the high school’s teaching staff and students for their participation.

Comia said the simex is a vital security measure and preparation for Davao City where threats, particularly those from local terrorist groups, are only “three to five hours away.”

“With this simulation exercise, we believe we can address the situation at hand, of course, with coordination and collaboration with all agencies at hand,” he said.

The TF Davao commander also thanked all Dabawenyos who experienced any discomfort during the exercise for their patience and understanding.

“The good thing about it is napaka-supportive and napaka-cooperative ng mga Dabawenyos (Dabawenyos are very supportive and cooperative). Yan yong pinagmamalaki natin dito (We are proud of that here),” Comia added.

Comia said more simulation exercises will be staged in the future so that the appropriate response in a security crisis will become a “muscle memory” in Davao City’s security forces and citizens.

Meanwhile, PSSCC Head PCol. Angel Sumagaysay said the execution of the containment, rescue and neutralization of hostile elements went smoothly during the exercise.

However, Sumagaysay said the complexity of the scenario—which includes bomb throwing, active shooting and hostage-taking—prompted the security forces to approach the situation more carefully, extending the expected time frame for the exercise. He said the simex exposed some setbacks in the security cluster’s inter-operational response, particularly in the communication pathways among the various security units.

The PSSCC head, during a Davao City Disaster Radio program on Wednesday, said the execution and response of the city’s security cluster were given a score of 7.5 to 8 out of 10.

The Incident Command Post of Tuesday’s simex was chaired by Mayor Sebastian Duterte, who was joined by all team leaders and commanders of the different units and agencies involved. CIO