ARMM builds new emergency operation center
Cotabato City (January 26, 2016) – Residents in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) will get better calamity assistance and services once the construction of a new, fully-equipped emergency response operation center is completed, a regional official said Tuesday.
Ramil Masukat, regional disaster risk reduction management officer, said the regional government will put up a three-storey building to serve as headquarters of the region’s Humanitarian Emergency Action ResponseTeam (ARMM-HEART).
The ARMM-HEART was created in 2013 to respond to emergency and humanitarian needs during man-made or natural disasters in the region.
Masukat said the new ARMM-HEART Operation Center, which is located inside the ARMM compound in Cotabato City, will have state-of-the-art disaster monitoring facilities and that additional rescue equipment will be made.
He said the project will augment the present capacity of the ARMM-HEART. “We have insufficient facilities and equipment to fully cater our constituents in times of calamities and disasters. The project will make the delivery of our services more effective. We will still monitor 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”
The project has a total cost of around P 97,000,000, which was earmarked from the ARMM’s General Appropriations Act for 2015. ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman and Executive Secretary Atty. Laisa Alamia led its groundbreaking on January 18, 2016. Its construction, which is being undertaken by Maguindanao’s 1st District Engineering Office of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH)-ARMM, is expected to be finished in September 2016.
Masukat said they continue capacitating their volunteers and strengthening their partnership with other stakeholders as the building of the new operation center gets underway.
“Capacity building for our volunteers will continue. We will also boost our partnership with other stakeholders like radio communication groups, people’s organizations, civil society organizations, Local Government Units, Philippine National Police, military, the International Monitoring Team, and the Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities (CCCH),” he said.
ARMM-HEART is a convergence of agencies inclined with disaster preparedness and response. This includes the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS), Office of Civil Defense (OCD), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), and the Regional Planning and Development Office (RPDO) among others. (Bureau of Public Information)