In the photo (left to right OCD Executive Director Usec. Jalad, DICT Assistant Secretary for Infostructure Management & Special Concerns Asec. Silor and the Permanent Representative of the Philippines to the UN and Other International Organizations in Geneva Ambassador Evan P. Garcia)

          The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) reiterates its commitment in bringing ICT to the forefront of disaster resiliency in the Philippines. In June 2019, the leadership of the Emergency Telecommunications Cluster (ETC) was endorsed to the DICT from the Office of Civil Defense (OCD).

          According to the letter of transfer from the OCD, the DICT has an integral role in cascading timely, accurate and reliable information in times of disasters with its programs and projects such as the Government Emergency Communications System (GECS) and its strong partnership with the Rapid Emergency Telecommunications Team (RETT), thus, the department is more than qualified to lead and manage the ETC.

          Once the transfer is formalized, the DICT, spearheaded by Assistant Secretary for Infostructure Management and Special Concerns Alan A. Silor, will take charge in the provisioning of emergency telecommunications in disaster-stricken areas, as well as supporting in the communications requirement of Emergency Operations Centers (EOC) and Incident Command Posts (ICP).

          “The role of information and communications technology in disaster risk reduction and management in the Philippines is very vital. With the transfer of the Emergency Telecommunications Cluster to the DICT, the people can expect a more comprehensive involvement of the department in times of calamities,” Silor said.  

          Last May 13 to 17, the DICT participated in the United Nations-organized 2019 Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (GP2019) held in Geneva, Switzerland. With the theme “Resilience Dividend: Towards Sustainable and inclusive Societies,” delegates from the department engaged in discussions on reviewing and assessing progress made since the last Global Platform, as well as topics on risk-informed public and private investments and actions on climate and disaster risk.    

          The Philippines made huge strides in the past years in intensifying its disaster preparedness and initiatives, including the call for the creation of a Department of Disaster Resilience, updating to the Disaster Risk Reduction Framework and Plan, and contributed in making the ASEAN region disaster resilient in line with the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-20130. 

          Sendai Framework is a 15-year voluntary, non-binding agreement which aims to reduce disaster risk and losses in various aspects and sectors of communities and countries.

          The DICT is coordinating with the NDDRMC to review and discuss inputs on improving the DRRM in the country based on the outcomes of GP2019.