By Edd K. Usman
Taking advantage of cutting-edge technology, the country?s top business leaders opened on Wednesday, Aug. 10, the world?s first private sector-led national Emergency Operations Center (EOC) in Makati City.
A total of 79 local companies got together to establish the EOC under the Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation (PDRF).
Andre Joseph T. Fournier, project manager of the PDRF Information Management, told journalists during the launch event at the Shell House in Makati City that the companies were grouped into seven lifeline clusters.
They are logistics, telecommunications, water and sanitation, emergency supplies (food and non-food), early recovery (finance), health, medical services and SAR (search and rescue); and power, fuel and energy.
The high-tech facility serves as the Satellite Operations Center pending the completion of the permanent Clark Emergency Operations Center (CEOC) in Pampanga, which is targeted for full operation in the first quarter of 2017.
Through the EOC, the private companies will leverage on their resources and coordinate their disaster preparation, response and recovery efforts and to help the Philippines become more resilient.
The PDRF-EOC coordinates with the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).
The EOC “will also help foster collaboration between government, business and international humanitarian agencies as well as help strengthen resilience of small and medium-size enterprises through training,” the PDRF said.
It is linked to the Pacific Disaster Center (PDC) in Hawaii, giving the ability to track any storm, volcanic eruption, or earthquake.
?The EOC aims to be a 24/7 self-sufficient operations hub, geared towards training for disaster preparedness and coordination of relief and recovery efforts during major disasters such as earthquakes and typhoons,? the PDRF said.
As its link with the PDC in Hawaii was custom-made, the PDRF can collect data on churches, hospitals, power and water facilities, ports and airports around the country. It has a large electronic map of the Philippines showing live weather patterns.
PDRF-EOC gathers information from various sources, including the Department of Science and Technology’s (DOST) Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards or Project NOAH, said Fournier.
The PDRF signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Ayala Foundation for the construction of a multi-purpose hall and evacuation center at AP Banez, Tacloban City.
The group also inked a second agreement with Metaphil, an Aboitiz Construction Group, for a multi-purpose hall and evacuation center in Barangay Licod, Tanauan, Leyte.