The Office of Civil Defense – Cordillera Administrative Region (OCD-CAR) had installed the Thuraya satellite telephone at the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO) here last week for use in times of emergencies.
The telecommunications facility is issued to the provincial governor to be used by the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council(PDRRMC), which normally uses the PSDWO as the Disaster Coordinating Center in the province during emergencies such as natural calamities and other emergecies may occur anytime.
Engineer Jojo Valera of the OCD-CAR explained the unit, which utilizes its load in US dollars, will have to be used only as a last resort when all local networks are not available due to extremely bad and hazardous weather condition in the area.
The Thuraya satellite telephone, as the term implies, is installed with a satellite of its own so that the PDRRMC can use it to connect with the regional and national DRRMCs especially in times of emergencies so that appropriate support could be sent to the area. The unit could be used both for texting and calling.
Since the Thuraya satellite phone has to be operated on a 7/24 basis in times of calamities, members of the Communications and Public Warning sub-committee of the PDRRMC and other members of the Council were given basic orientation on the installation and use of the said equipment.
The Thruaya phone had been distributed earlier to the provinces in Regions 1, 2, 3, CAR and Metro Manila.
Aside from the from the Thuraya phone, Valera also brought with him one unit of a rain gauge. Engr. Ernesto M. Aton, the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer (PENRO) earlier informed the PDRRMC that there are no more rain gauges working in the province due to the antiquity of the units. The rain gauge is very important to determine whether people with low-lying areas need to do pre-emptive evacuation.
The rain gauge could be reproduced by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) so that more units could be installed in various places in the province, Valera added.