South Cotabato adopts unified communication system for security, disaster

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/24 October) — The provincial government of South Cotabato has allocated around P4 million for the development of a unified security and disaster communication system in the area.

South Cotabato Gov. Daisy Avance-Fuentes said Friday the local government is currently working on the details and requirements of the project, which will mainly strengthen the communication systems within the province’s 10 towns and lone city.

She said they are targeting to roll out the initiative, which is dubbed Unified Telecommunication Project (UTP), early next year.

The governor said the allotment for the project was endorsed recently by the Provincial Peace and Order Council.

The project was earlier proposed by the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) to help enhance disaster response and other related activities in the province.

Ramon Ponce de Leon, PDRRMO head, said the UTP will serve as a secure and effective comprehensive communication platform for the province.

He said the system will be interlinked with local government units, Philippine National Police, Armed Forces of the Philippines and Bureau of Fire Protection.

“It will improve and expand further the existing telecommunication system in the province,” he said.

Ponce de Leon said the UTP will complement and upgrade the existing radio systems of the province through wireless technology.

He said it will address the province’s problem on the lack of reliable and efficient means of communication in disaster situations.

The official said the system features video and telephone conferencing; reliable and secure telephone system using voice-over-Internet protocol; intranet emails and instant messaging service; intranet and inter-municipality fax system; seamless interconnection with the communication system of the military, police and other government agencies; and, enlarged radio communication coverage to solve “dead spot” areas or those without communication signals.

Ponce de Leon said the networks for the telecommunication project will be installed in all municipalities and component city of the province as soon as the purchase request for the materials is approved.

He said user and technical trainings will be scheduled by the PDRRMO for all personnel of concerned agencies once the system is installed.

Ponce de Leon said the system will eventually be rolled out down to the province’s 199 barangays.

“With the UTP, barangays that have established radio bases could easily join or interlink with the system. This way, we can easily tap them in times of disasters and when their services are necessary,” he added. (MindaNews)