Third ASEAN Regional Collaboration Drill (RCD)

05/11/2018 | 01:12 AM


On 5 December 2018 in Manila, Philippines, Emergency Medical Teams (EMT) from ASEAN Member States and Japan completed the Third Regional Collaboration Drill (RCD) hosted by the Philippines from 3-5 December 2018.


On 3-5 December 2018, the Philippines hosted the third Regional Collaboration Drill (RCD) as part of the Project on Strengthening the ASEAN Regional Capacity on Disaster Health Management (ARCH), in line with the ASEAN Declaration on Disaster Health Management.


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One ASEAN One Response! Thus, exercise participants, officials and actors at the completion of the day-long field exercise where EMT from ASEAN Member States and Japan respond to challenges and issues usually experienced in the delivery of life-saving med


The ASEAN Declaration on Disaster Health Management, which highlighted the importance of responding as one region, was signed during the 31st ASEAN Summit in the Philippines last November 2017.

In line with the Declaration, Project ARCH was initiated by the National Institute for Emergency Medicine-Thailand, in collaboration with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The project aims to strengthen the over-all regional response during disasters, particularly on coordination among emergency medical teams (EMTs) and team management relevant to the response.

Project ARCH includes the conduct of three Regional Collaboration Drills. The first drill was hosted by Thailand on June 2017, and the second by Vietnam on March 2018. The third Drill in the Philippines will be attended by the Executive Committee of the Department of Health, members of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, and five-man EMTs from each of the ASEAN member-nations.

The Philippine hosting of the drill is in line with the preparation of the country to respond to a possible 7.2 magnitude earthquake in Metro Manila. It will benefit the country to enhance the inter-agency collaboration and coordination both at the national and international response operation activities. It is also part of the observance of December 6 as the “National Health Emergency Preparedness Day” as per Proclamation No. 705, series of 1995.


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Secretary of the Department of Health – Philippines, H.E. Francisco Duque III, during the opening of the Third Regional Collaboration Drill in Makati City, Philippines


Dr. Francisco Duque, Secretary of the Department of Health – Philippines, at the opening of the drill, highlighted that the leadership of Philippines in preparing and hosting the RCD complemented the country’s commitment as a member of ASEAN in supporting regional collaboration in disaster preparedness and response including the refinement of EMT operations under the disaster health management priority of the ASEAN Health Ministers. He further added that the Philippines’ hosting of the drill was also in line with the Philippine health agenda called FOURmula One Plus, where responsiveness was a priority not only during normal times but especially in environmental  health threats, hazards and disasters. It was also part of the observation of 6 December as the ‘National Health Emergency Preparedness Day’ in the Philippines.

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  ​EMT from a group of ASEAN member states simulate community health assessment in a camp for internally displaced populations


The RCD intended to examine the current draft regional collaboration mechanism on disaster health management and tools which were developed through the ARCH Project. The exercise also aimed to further refine EMT operations at all levels in terms of command and control, coordination and collaboration, and communication.

The event was a combination of a two-day tabletop exercise on December 3 and 5 and a one-day field exercise on December 4 at the Philippine Army Grandstand. It was followed by meetings of the Project Working Groups on Regional Collaboration Tools and on Capacity Development, as well as the Regional Coordination Committee, on 6 and 7 December, respectively, to further discuss the recommendations from the drill, and subsequently report to the ASEAN Health Cooperation for further consideration.