Department of Interior and Local Government Launches Workshop on Crisis Mgmt.

The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) in the Philippines has launched a nationwide workshop that will train local governments and police chiefs on crisis management. The DILG officially adopted the “proactive strategy on crisis management” that was formulated by Calabarzon police director, Chief Superintendent Samuel D. Pagdilao Jr.

Pagdilao, author of the Commanders Handbook in Dealing with Hostage Situation, was among the first who proactively responded to the need to formulate clear guidelines delineating the roles, powers and limitations of the Crisis Management Committee (CMC) following a disastrous rescue operation during the August 23, 2010, hostage situation at Quirino Grandstand where eight hostages ended up dead after officials bungled a “rescue assault.”

After the August 23 incident, Pagdilao ordered the review of critical incident management by all police commanders, retraining of SWAT units and other special units in hostage and rescue operations, the training of hostage negotiators, the establishment of protocol on media coverage during crisis, and the seminar-workshop for local government executives on crisis management.

The workshop features interim rules on crisis management unanimously approved by the Peace and Order Council of Region 4-A, including the following:

  • At the onset of the crisis, civilian authorities must immediately convene the CMC, establish a command center, and integrate and orchestrate all actions of government agencies involved for immediate crisis resolution.
  • While the crisis is ongoing, CMC leaders will supervise and monitor the progress of the crisis situation. In a hostage situation, the CMC chairman will process and decide whether to approve hostage-takers’ demands.

According to Pagdilao, “the interim rules also state that the CMC chairman should not interfere with tactical and operational matters relative to the hostage situation and they should not be allowed to act as negotiators in a hostage crisis. These two functions are supposed to be left in the hands of the on-scene commander and the negotiating team.”

For more details on lessons learned and the interim crisis management rules, read the full article: