Members of the SM Emergency Response Team (SMERT) in Puerto Princesa City demonstrate rescuing and transferring victims from an emergency scenario using various types of carrying and lifting methods. The exercise was held on February 7, 2019, at the Car Park Area of the SM City Puerto Princesa as part of its 1st Annual Joint Tactical Inspection and General Assembly.

The SM City Puerto Princesa assured Thursday that its customer relations service (CRS) frontliners are doing their best to ensure that mall-goers are provided a safe and secure environment through their SMERT program.

SMERT is short for SM Emergency Response Team, which is part of the SM malls’ resiliency program that takes care of unexpected situations while maintaining uninterrupted operations and safeguarding of people and assets.

Almus J. Alabe, senior assistant vice president for CRS of the SM’s Shopping Center Management Corporation (SCMC), said there are members of their guard force, service providers, and organic operators who are trained to serve when there are emergency situations inside their malls.

In all SM malls nationwide, he said, their emergency response team members are about 1,800.

“This is part of our resilience program… our company’s program where we need to ensure that we are ready for any emergency. The foremost objective of SMERT is to be ready to serve during times of emergencies and calamities,” Alabe said to Palawan News.

Alabe is in the city for the 1st Annual Joint Tactical Inspection and General Assembly conducted by the SM City Puerto Princesa CRS department to go over the readiness of its security guards and SMERT members, including their technical personnel and janitorial services.

The tactical inspection is necessary to determine if they are compliant with the standards set forth by the company and the Philippine National Police-Supervisory Office on Security and Investigation Agencies (PNP-SOSIA).

Puerto Princesa City Police Office (PPCPO) deputy director Police Superintendent Ronnie Bacuel who represented Police Senior Superintendent Marion Balonglong, said per their assessment the SM City Puerto Princesa has been compliant ever since with their security and safety guidelines for mall-goers.

“The security guards are under the sanction of the PNP. The details of the security personnel of the SM mall are under the regulation of the PNP-SOSIA which monitors if they are implementing our guidelines. Itong ginagawa nilang inspection ngayon ay para masiguro ‘yong proper implementation noong mga policies ng PNP. So far, well-managed naman ang kanilang pagpapatupad ng security dito sa mall (This inspection that it just conducted is part of the proper implementation of the policies of the PNP. So far, their security implementation is well-managed in this mall),” Bacuel said.

During the joint tactical inspection, the members of the SMERT demonstrated their readiness to respond to several possible emergency scenarios such as wheelchair transportation of a victim suffering from a sprained ankle, rescuing and transferring a victim using various types of carrying and lifting methods, and proper rescue of a victim in a simulated motorcycle accident using a spine board.

In addressing them, Alabe encouraged the SMERT members and the security personnel and staff of the SM City Puerto Princesa to be “disciplined, alert, and vigilant, and to be mindful of situations” that are happening in their environment to keep the people safe and secured.

Certificates of commendation were also given to security personnel of the SM City Puerto Princesa for their integrity and honesty in service.

The security suppliers of the SM mall in the city are Aceguard Security Services, Inc., 158 Raptor Security Agency, Backup Security Agency, and Mega Corinthians Integrated Security, Inc.

Present during the event were Maidja Saliente, mall manager of SM City Puerto Princesa; Victor Santiago, assistant vice president of the food and retail group; Charleston Tan, assistant vice president for CRS of the SM Retail; Patricia Lei Fulgencio, president of Aceguard Security Services, Inc., and Tristan Yana, CRS regional manager for Visayas-3.

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is the chief of correspondents of Palawan News. She covers defense, politics, tourism, health, and sports stories. She loves to travel and explore different foods.