DSWD chief eyes dispersing more disaster response teams across PH
MANILA, Philippines — The new Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Rex Gatchalian aims to upgrade the agency’s disaster response by further breaking down and dispersing disaster response units across the country.
Part of the DSWD’s mandate is to respond to calamities by providing immediate aid to disaster-stricken areas. However, Gatchalian said it was a challenge to get goods from warehouses to the hands of those who needed them.
“That’s the battle of logistics, so ang naisip ko na solusyon at strategy doon, kaysa doing central o provincial o regional approach na nandoon ang warehouse at packing center, baka pwede natin hatiin pa ang mga mapa natin into smaller geographic areas for disaster response,” he said in a press conference on Friday.
(That’s the battle of logistics, so I am thinking that the solution and strategy to that are, rather than making a central, provincial, or regional approach where the warehouse and packing center are there, maybe we can further halve our maps into smaller geographic areas for disaster response.)
He likened it to the “hub and spoke” system. First, there would be large hubs in the regional and provincial areas; then, there would be spokes, smaller warehouses and packing and distribution centers among municipalities and smaller areas.
Gatchalian said there are provinces like Pangasinan, Isabela, Batangas and Quezon that are “mega provinces” in terms of size.
“You won’t be omnipresent. Wala ka doon at any given time. But if we cut up, let’s say, Quezon, to eight smaller units for disaster response, then that will be a faster and better approach,” said Gatchalian.
According to Gatchalian, the smaller distribution points would allow goods to arrive faster.
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