The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) has intensified its intervention efforts to aid severely affected areas in the Bicol Region and MIMAROPA Region. This is to help said communities recover following the successive landfalls of typhoons that left the entirety of Luzon under a state of calamity.

The primary objective of the intervention efforts is to restore communication services to enable the effective conduct of other recovery and relief initiatives.

The Department’s Luzon Cluster 3 (LC3) office had been coordinating with different local governments units (LGUs), provincial offices, and disaster-related agencies to deploy emergency communications. The team had installed a flyaway VSAT (Very Small Aperture Terminal) in Catanduanes to support telecommunication lines. LC3 also coordinated closely with different telecommunications companies to provide the necessary assistance in different provinces affected by the typhoons.

In Albay, the Department’s cluster office was able to restore Government Network sites in collaboration with the site coordinators. The team conducts regular monitoring of these GovNet sites to check the status and to account for possible damages caused by the typhoon. LC3 also managed to man High frequency (HF) radios to ensure constant communication with different DICT provincial offices, cluster offices, and Office of Civil Defense/National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.

DICT’s provincial office in Albay is also offering free device charging services and Free Wi-Fi for All Internet access to enable citizens to communicate with their loved ones residing outside of the province.

In Camarines Norte, the DICT LC3 was able to utilize the DICT antenna and collocation of HF radios at the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) to facilitate constant coordination with relevant stakeholders. The team also tested portable generator sets as a form of backup assistance to LGUs with power outages to ensure the continued operation of Free Wi-Fi sites. The DICT Camarines Norte Tech4ED Center is also providing the free use of Internet and laptops for the people therein.

Similar to Camarines Norte, the Department in Camarines Sur is closely coordinating with stakeholders and monitoring telecommunication signals. The team likewise assisted in the preparation for the emergency meeting of Undersecretary Alan A. Silor and Mayor Tom Bongalota of Pili, Camarines Sur.

The island province of Catanduanes, who bore the brunt of the Super Typhoon Rolly, had been provided with a HF radio installed at DICT Catanduanes to provide inter-island communication between DICT LC3 Offices. The DICT team delivered the equipment and devices for the istallation of a flyaway VSAT at the Provincial Capitol to enable various stakeholder meetings. The DICT also coordinated with the Philippine Red Cross about the installation of radio repeater and co-location in a PLDT telecommunications tower in Catanduanes. Satellite phones had also been deployed in Virac, Catanduanes as additional aid to the restoration of communication services.

Masbate and Sorsogon Offices are likewise continually monitoring telecommunication signals within their locales. The Department had been able to secure the provincial office’s equipment and assets away from areas possible of flooding. In Sorsogon, the DICT is regularly monitoring the different LTE routers deployed to different quarantine facilities.

The Department’s intervention efforts extends to the MIMAROPA Region as DICT provincial offices in Occidental and Oriental Mindoro are also engaged in various emergency meetings and undertaking regular monitoring of Free Wi-Fi sites and Tech4ED Centers within their respective provinces. The same holds true for the DICT provincial offices in Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan—with DICT Marinduque lending a portable generator set to different LGUs and response offices to help evacuees situated in the barangay evacuation center.

“We stand in solidarity with all our countrymen affected by the devastating calamities that shook Luzon. Your DICT will continue to reach out and deploy all the necessary intervention efforts to restore communications and provide assistive services to the people most affected by the typhoons,” DICT Secretary Gregorio B. Honasan II asserted.