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Friday, July 26, 2024

DSWD deploys command centers for faster response

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The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) will be able to respond more efficiently during disasters and calamities with the newly acquired 16 Mobile Command Centers (MCCs) that will soon be deployed to DSWD Field Offices across the country,  DSWD Secretary Rex Gatchalian said.

Gatchalian also noted that the Disaster Response Command Center (DRCC), inaugurated last January by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr, serves as the agency’s central information facility for disaster monitoring, coordination, reporting, and data/information management in times of calamities.

“Pero ang nangyari (What has happened), we have a hub but we can’t talk to our regional offices. This now completes the picture, that no matter what happens, no matter how far, the mobile command centers can be deployed in a disaster area and can continue transmitting data to our regional and to our central office so that we can react commensurate to the disaster that is happening real-time,” Gatchalian said.

Gatchalian expressed his gratitude to Senator Joel Villanueva, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Labor, Employment and Human Resources Development, for helping the agency in securing the budget needed for the acquisition of the MCCs.

“Nais naming magpasalamat sa ating panauhing pandangal, Senator Joel Villanueva, kasi siya yung nag-advocate nito. Sabi ko nga, pag sinabi kasing DSWD ang natatandaan lang are grant o yung tulong, tama naman yun pero para makapag-deliver yung mga social workers namin ng angkop na tulong, kailangan may kapasidad din kami na rumesponde,” Secretary Gatchalian said.

(We want to thank our guest of honor, Senator Joel Villanueva, because he is the one who advocated for this. As I have said, when we talk about the DSWD, people only remember grants or assistance, that is correct, but in order for our social workers to deliver necessary assistance, we must also have the capacity to respond.)

For her part, DSWD Undersecretary for Disaster Response Management Group (MCC) Diana Rose Cajipe said  the MCC features state-of-the-art Information and Communications Technology (ICT) equipment that will enable real-time coordination and communication among national and local government agencies.

“The MCCs are custom-made vehicles equipped with surveillance and communication devices, power supply and other electronic equipment that are vital during disasters and emergencies,” Cajipe.

The DRMG undersecretary explained that the existing DRCC, acting as the central information hub for disaster incidents, is linked with the Regional Operations Center (ROC).

The MCCs aim to bridge the communication gap in disaster or emergency operations by providing linkage from the disaster-stricken area to the Regional Operations Center (ROC), Disaster Response Command Center (DRCC), or the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (RDRRMC), according to Usec. Cajipe.

“This network will gather critical information from the MCC ensuring comprehensive and real-time updates for decision-makers,” Usec. Cajipe said as she emphasized that the MCC will provide vital support to the DRMG’s disaster response teams on the ground.

The satellite technology used in the mobile hubs is managed by MCC Deployment teams to ensure the continuous, effective, reliable, and timely emergency telecommunications support needed in disaster response operations.

The MCC Deployment Team is composed of one team leader for supervision; two DSWD- Government Emergency Telecommunications Team (GETT) members skilled in ICT management, networking, electronics, and communications; and three trained Quick Response Team (QRT) members proficient in data gathering, report preparation, and response cluster management; and one vehicle driver/operator familiar with service vehicle maintenance and deployment areas.

Through the system, the MCC Deployment teams will be able to provide uninterrupted critical information for humanitarian response efforts and disaster response operations in the disaster-stricken area.

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