DICT urged to hasten roll-out of emergency communications system in disaster-hit areas

Sen. Sonny Angara has urged the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) to fast-track the roll-out of emergency communications system in disaster-hit areas.

An example of the Mobile Operations Vehicles for Emergency (MOVE). Photo credit: Fema.gov

This year, the DICT has received P192 million for the purchase of six Mobile Operations Vehicles for Emergency (MOVE) — a flagship component of the DICT’s emergency communications system to help make Philippine communities more disaster-resilient.

Angara, Senate finance committee vice chairperson tasked to defend DICT’s budget, sponsored such inclusion of the six MOVE sets in the department’s 2018 budget.

“One of the first casualties when disaster strikes is the communication infrastructure. Response to people immediately needing help and coordination among responders are impeded and delayed because they could not communicate,” Angara said.

“By putting in place the MOVE project, we will be able to provide a communication system crucial in delivering help and services and in saving lives,” he added.

Under the said project, mobile emergency vehicles will be made available initially in strategic areas such as the National Capital Region, Clark, Batangas, Cebu, Cagayan De Oro and Davao City for easies access of nearby provinces needing it.

Future roll-out sites include Bicol, Tuguegarao in Cagayan, Samar and Zamboanga City.

Based on the DICT’s plan, each MOVE set has one six-wheeler truck which will serve as the command and control center to coordinate efforts of the first-responders and the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, as well as base station near evacuation centers to provide evacuees connectivity with their loved ones.

It is also equipped with one pick-up truck and one motorcycle that will bring connectivity to first-responders in ground zero.

“Hopefully, the DICT will be able to implement this project at the soonest possible time. The typhoon that caused damage in the northern provinces underscores the need for a better and effective communication system in place to help our government in disaster response,” Angara said.

Comment on this post