CLARK, PAMPANGA – The Philippine Government’s Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the Office of Civil Defense (OCD), together with the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), has conducted a simulation exercise from 27 February to 3 March 2017 to practice emergency logistics response during disasters.
The “Field Logistics Emergency Exercise” or FLEX was developed by WFP in partnership with DSWD, OCD and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). FLEX provides hands-on training in humanitarian logistics in a realistic learning environment. Selected managers and key logistics staff from DWSD, OCD, UN agencies, international non-government organizations and the private sector, led by the Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation (PDRF), worked together in the exercise to ensure better coordination and a more effective response during emergencies.
FLEX is set against a realistic backdrop, so that participants experience the actual conditions typical to an emergency such as living in makeshift housing, setting up mobile warehouses and working out of temporary offices. The objective of the exercise is to improve cluster and inter-agency coordination for logistics, as well as foster networks between the Philippine Government and humanitarian actors in the country. Participants had to manage multiple responsibilities in the exercise, including drafting a concept of operations, setting up distribution facilities, operating with air assets, working on problems in transport planning, cluster coordination and media management.
DSWD Secretary Judy M. Taguiwalo said: “We can never prepare enough for disasters and emergencies, especially now that we are experiencing the devastating effects of global warming. We all have to brace ourselves for the possibility of the “Big One” taking place — an earthquake of such intensity that the damage it can leave behind will be so tremendous. Given this, simulation trainings such as the ones led by the WFP and the OCD are timely and even urgent; they are highly necessary to assist concerned agencies in their efforts to improve their operations and contribute to a better overall disaster response.”
“We welcome this opportunity to enhance our capability in the area of disaster response- logistics management. This is a very important area in disaster response and improving our work in this would equate to better services to our people in times of emergency,” said National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council Executive Director and Civil Defense Administrator, Undersecretary Ricardo B. Jalad.
“This exercise is the first of its kind conducted in the Philippines, and WFP is proud to be working hand in hand with the Philippine Government and USAID in this initiative,” said WFP Philippines Representative and Country Director Praveen Agrawal. “Using this training methodology our aim is to improve how we collectively operate and coordinate during emergencies to ensure that the people affected by disasters will get the assistance they need immediately,” Agrawal added.
The simulation exercise was a recommendation from the 2015 Training Needs Assessment (TNA) of the Philippine Government’s Logistics Training Capacity.
FLEX is a continuation of the strategic partnership between DSWD, OCD and WFP to enhance emergency response capacity in the Philippines through the generous support of USAID. Private sector companies such as UPS, PDRF and its members, Smart Communications, PLDT, Globe Telecom, and Clark Development Corporation also supported the exercise by providing the transport support, venue, accommodation, and internet access.
The Philippines is considered as one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world exacerbated by climate change, with various natural disasters affecting the country such as typhoons, droughts, earthquakes and volcanic activities.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development is the government institution responsible for the protection of social welfare rights and promotion of social development. It chairs the National Disaster Response of the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council.
The Office of Civil Defense (OCD), as the implementing arm of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, shall have the primary mission of administering a comprehensive national civil defense and disaster risk reduction and management program by providing leadership in the continuous development of strategic and systematic approaches as well as measures to reduce the vulnerabilities and risks to hazards and manage the consequences of disasters.
WFP is the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 80 countries.
For more information, please contact:
Department of Social Welfare and Development (Email: email@example.com) Genalor DV Fischer, Information Officer IV
Tel. +63 (02) 951-7440, Mob. +63929-371-0593
Office of Civil Defense (Email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Mina B. Marasigan, Chief – Public Affairs
Tel. +63 (02) 961-6314, Mob. +63917-827-5591
World Food Programme – Philippines (Email: Mei.Nebreja@wfp.org) Mei Nebreja Santos, Head – Communications and Partnerships Tel. +63 (02) 833-6229 local 2440, Mob. +63917-571-3162