MANILA, Philippines – Officials of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) and private donors broke ground on July 8, Tuesday for the future disaster command center in Camp Aguinaldo.
The NDRRMC Intelligent Operations Center (IOC) will be the new command and control hub for the Council and its attached agencies. Construction for the 600-square meter building will start on August 28, 2014 and is expected to be completed by April 2015.
Present at the ground breaking were NDRRMC Chairperson and National Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, NDRRMC Executive Director and Civil Defense Administrator Usec Alexander Pama, and Christian Angeles, President of SMSGT Inc. – an IT and telecommunications systems integrator and solutions provider.
The new 3 – level operations center will house state-of the-art communication equipment that will provide seamless communications connectivity and will enhance the capabilities of the council.
According to Usec. Pama, the ground floor will be allotted to different agencies who will respond during disasters. There is also a briefing room for the media to allow real-time information dissemination to the people.
The second floor, where the main operations center is located, will have large screens for monitoring purposes.
The third floor, which will serve as the board room, will have a feature that will enable the officials to view the large screens from the command centers.
Among the new facilities expected in the new IOC are improved bandwidth, real-time video, audio and data transmissions.
“Before the year 2016 ends, we look forward to having the latest state-of the-art nerve center for DRRM in the entire Asia-Pacific Region,” Gazmin said.
Not a single cent
The government will not spend a single centavo for the construction, according to Sec. Gazmin.
Angeles said that the estimated amount of this project will be around 250-300 million pesos ($5.8 million – $6.9 million). About 100 million pesos ($2.3 million) has already been pledged.
The facility will be donated by SMSGT Inc. and their partners from the US, Canada and New Zealand who are also willing to help.
“We don’t want to waste the goodwill of the people who want to help, while they are interested,” Angeles said.
He added that his main goal is to be able to help and to show his partners that the country is able to do a facility like this.
With huge amounts being donated, Usec. Pama clarifies that whatever is donated to them will be under scrutiny.
He said the process will somehow be the same as that of the “bridal registry’ wherein one registers so that the donations will not be doubled.
He also said that the NDRRMC will also be the one to tell their partners what the government needs.
“We welcome help. Para naman ‘to sa mga Pilipino, maraming gustong tumulong sa atin,” Gazmin added. (This is for the Filipinos, many want to help) – Rappler.com
Learn more about Project Agos here.
Below are the photos of the proposed NDRRMC operations center (provided by the OCD operations division and SMSGT, Inc.)
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