Logistics Cluster Philippines Concept of Operations - revised

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Torrential rains on 26 September 2009 caused by tropical storm Ketsana ("Ondoy"), on 4 October by super Typhoon Parma ("Pepang") and on 30 October by Typhoon Mirinae ("Santi") resulted in widespread flooding, affecting almost 10 million people according to government figures. As a consequence, the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GoRP) declared a state of national calamity and key clusters were activated to respond to the effects of the storm. When the alert level for Mt Mayon volcano was raised to Level 3 on 14 December 2009 and then Level 4 on 20 December 2009, evacuation of more than 47,000 residents from the surrounding eight kilometre evacuation high risk zone commenced. As the lead government agency for the coordination of the relief response, the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) chaired the Logistics Cluster with the support of the World Food Programme, lead of the Global Logistics Cluster, as its IASC counterpart.

Gap & Needs

Given the extent of the damage inflicted by tropical storms Ketsana, Parma and Mirinae to both land and property, the Philippines government, private sector, and international and local humanitarian actors have been working to provide support to affected populations. There is a clear and tangible requirement to ensure strong coordination between the various actors assisting affected communities in order to mitigate any duplication of efforts and maximize sharing of scarce logistics resources. Based on a request from the NDCC, the World Food Programme has established a Philippines "Logistics Cluster Cell" (herein referred to as "The Cell") though which various logistics assets have been mobilized. Although roads are open between Manila and Albay Province where Mayon Volcano is located, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has identified a gap in warehousing and long haul surface transport capacity.

The objectives and activities of the Logistics Cluster in the Philippines are the following:

The foremost objective of the Logistics Cluster Cell in the Philippines is to support the NDCC in coordinating with International and National NGOs, the UN system and the Private Sector in order to optimize logistics efforts, and by association, the delivery of various humanitarian assistance programmes.

This objective will be met through execution of the following activities in response to the typhoons:

- Forward storage and distribution centres: The Cell established three staging areas in northern Luzon, accessible to both government entities and international organizations with labour provided by the DSWD and the army. Two of the three hubs have now been dismantled. A third hub still remains in Baguio City but will be dismantled in the coming weeks. The identification of hub locations was made in concert with Regional and Provincial Regional Disaster Coordination Council(s) and the DSWD.

- Coordination and Information Management: The Cell organizes Logistics Cluster meetings, acting as an interlocutor between participating organizations and the NDCC to monitor and resolve gaps in the delivery of assistance.

Following the alert level escalation for Mayon Volcano, the objective of the Logistics Cluster will be met through execution of the following activities:

- Warehousing: The Cell has transported and erected a 320 m2 mobile storage unit at the Julhasan Arasain Naval Base, Legazpi City, for the storage of relief items from responding government bodies and humanitarian organizations.

- Surface Transport: The Cell is providing free of charge long haul surface transport between Manila and Legazpi City in order to facilitate the flow of relief items to evacuees. The service is currently being utilized by DSWD with room for further expansion should additional gaps be identified by other Logistics Cluster participants.

- Information Management: The Cell continues to hold Logistics Cluster meetings between participating organizations and NDCC in order to monitor and resolve gaps in the delivery of assistance. The Cell also provides a cargo tracking system based on Cargo Movement Requests (CMR) received and regular information products including situation reports and bulletins.

Assumptions and constraints:

- The location of the hub in Legazpi City has been chosen on the basis of proximity to both affected areas and logistics infrastructure including helipad and landing ship dock (LSD). The staging area can be moved to reflect a change in operational needs.

- This ConOps is a "live document" and will be updated periodically and based on changes in operational exigencies.

- The extent of the services to be provided by The Cell is not meant to replace or replicate the capacity of Logistics Cluster participating organizations. The Cell aims to supplement and support the overall logistics capacity in order to help the government and organizations to focus their energy on other parts of the supply chain, in particular down-stream deliveries.

- The planned duration of The Cell's intervention in the Philippines is up-to end of March 2010. [This may be revised based on operational exigencies].