BAGUIO CITY – The Cordillera office of the Office of Civil Defense (OCD-CAR) established appropriate linkages with the private sector to facilitate the acquisition of several units of the state-of-the-art equipment that will make responders effectively and efficiently attend to disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM), especially in identified high risk areas.
Andrew Alex Uy, OCD-CAR regional director, said the availability of various units of state-of-the-art equipment coupled with the sufficient number of trained emergency responders and a well informed community will contribute in the disaster resilience of various communities regionwide.
“We need the cooperation and participation of everyone to our disaster risk reduction and management efforts. No one can do things single-handedly that is why we are strengthening our partnership with the private sector to improve our technical capabilities,” Uy stressed.
The OCD-CAR was able to acquire the services of a drown plane that will assist its personnel in the conduct of rapid damage assessment and needs analysis in calamity-stricken areas in the different parts of the region because the said equipment has a capability of documenting a damaged area with a radius of at least 2 kilometers.
By being able to pinpoint the damages to certain communities, Uy said disaster officials will be able to pinpoint the immediate needs of the people which could be provided by concerned agencies and that appropriate interventions will also be put in place to attend to what the people in the calamity-stricken communities need.
In partnership with Smart Telecommunication and PLDT, Uy added the availability of the so-called multi-element on wheels (MEOW) and the cellsite on wheels (COW) which would guarantee the availability of mobile communications in disaster-stricken areas to allow disaster responders and even the people to communicate their needs to concerned government agencies, local governments and even to their relatives.
According to Director Uy, the MEOW and COW will be made available in areas stricken by natural calamities and with no telecommunication signals to make sure that there will be signals in the cellsites to allow disaster affected people to communicate their needs outside their places.
The MEOW and COW will be based in Baguio City, Bontoc, Mountain Province, San Fernando City, La Union, Lagawe, Ifugao and other identified critical areas where their services are urgently needed, especially during the onslaught and the aftermath of natural calamities, so that they would be easily deployed to areas that are in dire need of their services.
Uy appealed to the public to make sure that they have in their list of contact numbers the emergency numbers of disaster offices in their respective places so that they will be able to contact the same for their needs once they will be victims of calamities among others.
At the same time, he cited the public should also make sure that they are aware of what will be happening around them so that they will be able to contribute in effectively and efficiently addressing concerns of their neighbors seeking assistance from responders prior to the arrival of volunteers who will be attending to their needs.
By Dexter A. See