NDRRMC to get new state-of-the-art operations center
MANILA, Philippines – In preparation for stronger typhoons and unpredictable earthquakes, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council is shaping up and set to get a new and “better” operations center.
With construction set to start on August 28, the new “nerve center” would enhance the NDRRMC’s capabilities on communication dissemination to improve coordination between agencies.
“This is a communications facility,” Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said Tuesday afternoon during the ground-breaking ceremony at Camp Aguinaldo. “Intelligence would be coming in, information would be coming in.”
Gazmin added that when Super Typhoon “Yolanda” tore through Eastern Visayas, Filipinos have learned so much after the devastation and the new operations center would serve as a “milestone” for disaster management.
“When Yolanda hit, the key realization is the importance of communication,” the Defense Secretary said. “Communication connects the responders and the victims.”
NDRRMC Chief Undersecretary Alexander Pama, said the 600-square meter, three-story high operations center would enhance their communications capability with real time data streaming constantly.
“Its capabilities would be in communications and information technology using satellite communications with real time video, voice, and data transmission,” Pama said. “There would be a media lounge for instantaneous dissemination for the citizens.”
In a project where the government would not spend a single centavo, SMS Global Technologies Inc., the main donor for the project, president Anthony Angeles said the whole project roughly costs P250 million to P300 million.
With the completion of the project on April 23, 2015, Angeles said the multi-million price tag is not that huge for the privately-funded project.
Angeles added that they have solicited P100 million for the project from his company’s partners in the United States, Canada, New Zealand, and Japan.
Partnering with SMS Global Technologies Inc., Pama said the NDRRMC would scrutinize every donation that would come in for the completion of the project and that they would dictate where to use the funds.
“We would be the ones dictating on where to use the funds; it’s like a bridal registry,” Pama explained as not to duplicate any donations that may enter.
Angeles said that his company’s partnership with the NDRRMC is purely out of good will and to show to the Filipinos that they are capable of building a state-of-the-art facility.
He added that when “Yolanda” hit, his partner companies wanted to help and the operations center was just smack for their goals.
“Actually this was conceptualized early this year,” Angeles said. “We don’t want to waste to the good will of the people.”
Upon the completion of the operations center, Angeles said that they would stay for the first six months to train the NDRRMC employees to operate the equipment and after that they will hand the reins to the government.
To cope with the new function, Pama said that they would, hopefully, add new personnel to man the operations center.
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