OCD explores partnership with Israel for disaster preparedness

Residents struggle to navigate flooding caused by Typhoon Ulyssess in Rodriguez, Rizal. — PHILIPPINE STAR/ MICHAEL VARCAS

THE PHILIPPINES seeks to partner with Israeli businesses to help meet the country’s emergency preparedness needs.

“Israel also faces challenges related to climate change and man-made disasters, and for this we have a lot of knowledge and know-how to deal with emergency situations,” the Ambassador said. ‘Israel in the Philippines, Ilan Fluss, at a May 30 event hosted by Israel. Embassy in Manila and Philippine Office of Civil Defense (OCD). “Today is an opportunity to share…how national and regional agencies can tackle [these] challenges.”

The emergency solutions offered by four Israeli companies were presented: ImageSat Internationalwhich provides space-based geospatial intelligence solutions for defense and security; ELPAM Electronics Ltd.which designs and implements siren systems and stranded person locators; Cinten, which improves emergency response capabilities through real-time simulations based on data from its SaaS (software as a service) platform; and GALMOBILEwhich offers a plug-and-play mobile solution to purify any water source into safe drinking water in thirty minutes.

“These four are the technologies we really need at OCD,” said Bernardo Rafaelito R. Alejandro IV, OCD Assistant Secretary and Assistant Operations Administrator. “We can engage them more through DoST [Department of Science and Technology] to check these tools.

“In the shopping list of [natural] hazards, we have it all: typhoons, floods, storm surges, earthquakes, tsunamis…” added Joe-Mar S. Perez, head of the 24/7 operations center of the National Council for Risk Reduction and Management of disaster. “Because of these risk factors, the Philippine government has a proactive approach to risk management.”

This approach includes a response protocol adopted by the United States for on-site all-hazards incident management, as well as PhilAWAREa system created by the Pacific Disaster Center that visualizes disaster situations through layers of maps.

The government plans to establish alternative government command and control centers, in addition to the one in central Luzon, according to Perez.

THREATS VERSUS OBJECTIVES
In Israel, identifying gaps between its national targets and its design basis threats has helped the country manage disasters at the national and municipal levels, according to an emergency management expert.

“If the goal is fresh water and food… it’s not enough to say, ‘I’m going to provide food,'” said Joseph David Shapiro, deputy director of the national emergency management authority. of Israel. “You have to explain at what level of service [you’re going to] provide that.

Governance during an emergency begins with identifying the different agencies that are part of a particular objective, and then dividing responsibilities into missions to be carried out by the different offices, he said at the same event.

“If I am in the Ministry of Energy, how can I supply fuel and energy to industries that package and supply food? Or how to fuel the various trucks that transport food from one place to another? ” he said.

Israel’s national goals are grouped into three categories: continued functionality goals (such as transportation and security); life texture goals (such as housing and hygiene); and vital items (such as water and medicine).

Each country will have to consider its actual response to certain scenarios – such as when personnel tasked with distributing water end up being drafted into the military, or when a power plant is hit by a missile, Mr Shapiro said.

“Once I’ve mapped out my gaps and my ability to react, that’s my work plan: how to close those gaps and improve my preparation,” he said. — Patricia B. Mirasol