World’s 1st national emergency operation center inaugurated in Clark

DUMAGUETE CITY – The Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation (PDRF), one of the leading business networks in disaster management, inaugurated on Wednesday the world’s first national private sector-led Emergency Operation Center (EOC) here.

PDRF co-chairman and Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT)-Smart Communications Inc. chief executive officer Manuel Pangilinan ,and PDRF co-chairman and Ayala Corp. chairman-CEO Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala officially led the inauguration of the EOC –a self-sufficient operation hub geared towards training for disaster preparedness and the coordination of relief and response during major disasters.

PDRF communication officer Colleen Abesamis said Clark is the chosen location for the facility for it is one of the designated recovery sites identified by the government in the national contingency plan and an ideal place due to its proximity to the Clark International Airport and Port of Subic Bay.

In his speech, Pangilinan underscored that disaster management in the country should be a collaborative effort between the government and the private sector.

He also cited the PDRF’s effort for creating platforms in establishing a disaster-resilient Philippines.

“PDRF’s formation is premised on the conviction that disaster management is not solely up to the government. The despair of one must touch us all and everyone must help,” Pangilinan said.

The PDRF was established in 2009 as a public-private sector partnership in response to the devastation caused by Typhoon Ondoy.

It serves as a critical link among government agencies, civil society groups, international and local government units for disaster preparedness, relief and recovery.

Accordingly, the EOC will complement government efforts and highlight private sector initiatives in all aspects of response and early recovery as it will provide alerts and updates to the PDRF network during emergency situations.

It features a command center which harnesses data from local and international sources to monitor earthquakes, tropical cyclones, volcanic eruptions, and pandemics.

The center also maps data on public infrastructure to help protect them from hazards.

Meanwhile, Clark Development Corp. (CDC) president Noel Manankil lauded the PDRF for choosing Clark as its location, which geared toward disaster preparedness.

Among the notable guests who witnessed the inauguration were former president and Pampanga 2nd District Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, Angeles City Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan, Aboitiz Equity Ventures, Inc. president-CEO Erramon Aboitiz, and National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council Undersecretary Ricardo Jalad.  (Marna Dagumboy Del Rosario/PNA)