3 disaster response centers to rise in Luzon, VisMin
Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) - March 10, 2015 - 7:24pm

MANILA, Philippines - Three disaster response centers will be built in the country’s three island groups to ensure the timely delivery of relief to areas hit by calamities.

The construction of the centers is part of the Disaster Preparedness and Response Capacity Enhancement Project, an initiative of the government and international humanitarian group World Food Programme (WFP).

“World Food Programme is working with the Philippine government in building a more sustainable mechanism that will enable an improved preparedness and response capacity should a crisis occur anywhere in the Philippines,” WFP Philippines Country Director Praveen Agrawal told The STAR in an interview on Tuesday.

“We will be building three hubs, one in Luzon one in Visayas and one in Mindanao with the vision that these three locations will have access to air, sea, and land,” he added.

The disaster response centers will be built in strategic locations to enable rapid deployment of equipment as well as timely and coordinated dispatch of assistance.

The possible locations of the logistics hubs are Clark International Airport for Luzon, Mactan-Cebu International Airport for Visayas and General Santos International Airport for Mindanao.

Agrawal said WFP, through its member countries, has allotted $10-million for the project.

Social Welfare Undersecretary Angelita Gregorio-Medel said the project would allow them to apply the lessons they learned from typhoon “Yolanda,” which left more than 6,000 persons dead in 2013.

Medel said the hubs would allow the decentralized and more efficient repacking and delivery of goods.

“The goods should be pre-positioned right at the identified vulnerable sites so that even local governments can move them as fast as they need to,” she said.

Medel, however, admitted that the project would require much money.

“The international community is helping us and I hope we can start very soon,” the social welfare official said. 

“Right now we’re mustering, trying to get resources we can get,” she added.

No timetable has been set for the construction of the disaster rehabilitation centers. Medel said she is hopeful that the logistics hubs would be completed as soon as possible.

A state-of the art hub will have a packing center, an information tracking facility, information and data processing center and training, capacity building center and a telecommunication facility.

“We are confident that with this project and many others still in the pipeline, the country will be better prepared to meet the challenges of future emergency events,” said Office of Civil Defense Deputy Administrator Romeo Fajardo.

“We remain firm in the belief that the close cooperation between all levels of government, local and foreign partners and civil society in the execution of humanitarian response,” he added.

CLARK INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT DISASTER PREPAREDNESS AND RESPONSE CAPACITY ENHANCEMENT PROJECT LUZON MACTAN-CEBU INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT MEDEL MINDANAO OFFICE OF CIVIL DEFENSE DEPUTY ADMINISTRATOR ROMEO FAJARDO PHILIPPINES COUNTRY DIRECTOR PRAVEEN AGRAWAL SOCIAL WELFARE UNDERSECRETARY ANGELITA GREGORIO-MEDEL WORLD FOOD PROGRAMME
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