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DSWD chief aims for more effective emergency response systems

Rex Gatchalian, secretary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), wants to increase the responsiveness of the agency’s disaster management and response activities by establishing more reaction hubs and spokes.

On February 9, Gatchalian paid a visit to the Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation (PDRF) Emergency Operations Center at Clark Freeport Zone. There, he met with PDRF officials, including its president Rene Meily and chief resilience officer Guillermo Luz, to discuss ways to improve the organization’s planning and logistical operations for providing aid during disasters.

Undersecretary Eduardo Punay, members of the Disaster Response Management Group (DRMG), under the direction of Undersecretary Marco Bautista and Assistant Secretary Diana Rose Cajipe, were present with the secretary.

The PDRF’s facilities were examined, and they also received training on the geographic information system (GIS) utilized by the emergency operations center.

“We are in the midst of revamping the DSWD Central Office’s command center. I went to Clark’s Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation Command Center. Bill Luz and the rest of their executives were gracious enough to walk us through their business,” Gatchalian added in a statement.

It was also considered during the conference whether the DSWD and PDRF Emergency Operations Center might work together to plan and distribute aid in times of disaster.

“We also went through the logistics plan developed by the DSWD. Making educated decisions comes after we learn and listen. People in the private sector can teach us a lot, according to Gatchalian.

One of the secretary’s aims is to work with the private sector to improve the DSWD’s processes and mechanisms for responding to disasters.

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