NTC-7 launches program for disaster preparedness

By: Futch Anthony Inso September 27,2017 - 07:08 PM

The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) in Central Visayas has created the Rapid Emergency Telecommunications Team (RETT) to provide integrated communication flow before, during and after disasters.

During the symposium conducted by the Kapisanan nga mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) – Cebu Chapter, NTC-7 director Jesus Laureno said RETT will be a locally initiated project with members from multi-sectoral agencies, which includes telecommunication companies, Office of the Civil Defense, local government units, Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and Federation of Radio Volunteers and Technicians.

NTC-7 aims to deploy mobile communications to communities badly damaged during disasters through RETT.

“We called it before as ‘bayanihan’, so we tapped all communication providers. If ever there are areas that do not have system signals, we will prioritize them by using  VSAT (very small aperture terminal) that can be used by responders to monitor the disaster victims,” Laureno said.

Laureno, however, revealed that the project was not supported by the national government, which forced NTC-7 to utilize presently available equipment.

He also revealed that telecommunication companies were also mandated to send information, especially during disasters.

“The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) will send messages and information to the companies for dissemination. State weather bureau Pagasa can also send weather advisories,” Laureno added.

The regional director also shed light on the NDRRMC’s text messages creating panic among the receivers.

Laureno clarified the messages and warnings come from NDRRMC, Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), Pagasa and other government offices.

Presently, advisories are sent based on the area code of the place where a disaster has been recorded.

Laureno said NTC is hoping that KBP will take part in the early warning system program.

He admitted that the governments needs the services and facilites of radio stations in public information in order to inform people.

Fr. Roberto Ebisa, SVD, chairman of KBP Cebu, said he is interested to revive the coordination between KBP and NTC to strengthen the region’s disaster preparedness strategy.

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TAGS: disaster, disaster preparedness, KBP, National Telecommunications Commission, Pagasa, Rapid Emergency Telecommunications Team, region vii, RETT

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