Following the successful deployment of six (6) sets of Mobile Operations Vehicle for Emergency (MOVE) under the Government Emergency Communications System (GECS) Project earlier this year, the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) renewed its partnership with the United Nations (UN) World Food Programme (WFP) through a kick-off signaling the second phase of the project last 13 December 2021, at the WFP Office in Mandaluyong City, Philippines. GECS Project Phase 2 is set to deploy three (3) more MOVE units in disaster hotspots across the country.

DICT Undersecretary for Resilient Government Emergency Communications Alan A. Silor led the ceremony and was joined by WFP Representative and Country Director Brenda Barton. Also present during the event were DICT Undersecretary for Digital Philippines Emmanuel Rey R. Caintic, DICT OIC-Assistant Secretary for Special Concerns Adrian Jude G. Echaus, OURGEC Director Gian Carlo Ignacio, GECS Project Manager Georben Torralba, GECS Assistant Project Manager Gladys De Ocampo, WFP’s Head of Programme Giorgi Dolidze and WFP Project Manager Martin Kristensson. Meanwhile, Undersecretary for Legal Affairs, Policy, Planning & Finance Jose Arturo C. De Castro, and Assistant Secretary for Administration, Finance and Planning Gerald James B. Reyes participated virtually through video conferencing.

During his speech, Undersecretary Silor highlighted the project’s role in local disaster response and management while expressing his gratitude to all of those behind its successful completion of Phase 1 and the ushering of GECS-MOVE Phase 2.

“Your DICT leads the Emergency Telecommunications Cluster or ETC [of the National Disaster Risk Reduction Cluster] in the pursuit of establishing critical communications lifelines in times of disaster… through the Government Emergency Communications System (GECS) Project, the DICT strengthens the government’s capacity in disaster preparedness and response,” Undersecretary Silor said.

“What we need in order to succeed in this project is the passion, love, and the heart to serve others. This is a continuing project that the DICT will have. It is a continuous way of helping the country to become resilient, especially in the use of ICT,” he added.

Presenting the roadmap of GECS Project Phase 2, Martin Kristensson and his team, together with the GECS PMT plans to complete the procurement process mid of next year. They will also jointly configure the systems to ensure the operators become well-versed of system functions and capabilities before deployment. MOVE is a rapidly deployable communication system that provides support to responders and rescue operations personnel in disaster-stricken areas. At present, six (6) MOVE units are positioned in Pampanga, Metro Manila, Batangas, Tacloban, Butuan and Davao