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PIA Press Release
Saturday, January 21, 2012


UNFPA turns over communication equipment, GPS to Benguet

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet, Jan. 21 (PIA) -- The United Nations World Food Programme (UNWFP) turned over communication equipment to the province to facilitate access in far flung areas in times of disaster, together with a mapping equipment to assess geohazard areas.

UNWFP National Coordinator for the Philippines Juan Blen Huelgas said the equipment consisting of five handheld radios with base and a Global Positioning System (GPS) is a modest contribution to complement existing capabilities of the province.

Huelgas said the handheld radios will help in facilitating access to areas during disaster operations while the GPS will be used in determining geohazard areas.

The mandate of UNWFP is food distribution and the province is a recipient of UNWFP relief goods during typhoon Pepeng, according to Huelgas. However, its support to the province expanded to strengthening capabilities of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (PDRRMC) such as the conduct of trainings.

This is a one year project, which is still within the UNWFP mandate will wind up March this year, said Huelgas.

There were series of trainings conducted such as the institutionalization of an Incident Command System (ICS). ICS is a systematic tool used for the command, control and coordination of emergency response.

Trainings on enhancing communication system and protocol and in strengthening the Benguet PDRRMC has also been conducted. On the pipeline is training on contingency planning for the towns of Atok and Tublay as pilot areas including the provincial government.

Huelgas said UNWFP may further extend capability enhancement for the PDRRMC depending on how far the LGUs have gone into adapting the skills on disaster operations. (JDP/SCA- PIA CAR,Benguet)

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