Vice Chair for Response and Social Welfare Secretary Judy M Taguiwalo calls meeting to order in the 2nd Council Meeting for 2017 held at Tejeros Hall, AFPCOC, Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo, Quezon City.

NDRRMC Chairperson and National Defense Secretary Delfin N Lorenzana, Atty Neri J Colmenares, Mr Brian Poe Llamanzares, Mr Ramon R Isberto, together with other NDRRMC key officials join the ceremonial launching of the Cellular Broadcast System in partnership with SMART Communications.

14 March 2017- National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) members convene for its 2nd Council Meeting at the Tejeros Hall, Armed Forces of the Philippines Commissioned Officers’ Club, Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo, Quezon City.

Vice Chairperson for Response and Social Welfare Secretary Judy M Taguiwalo presided the meeting. NDRRMC Executive Director and Civil Defense Administrator Usec Ricardo B Jalad was present as well as other heads and representatives of member agencies.

The meeting included brief discussions of the actions taken from the previous council meeting on 12 January 2017. The results of the Post Disaster Needs Assessment for Typhoons Nona, Ferdie, Nina and Super Typhoon Lawin were presented. 

Updates on the amendatory bill for RA 10121 and the NDRRM Fund guidelines were discussed. The resolution to endorse to Congress the request for supplemental appropriations for the NDRRM Fund was agreed upon by the members of the Council.

The proposed change of the National Disaster Consciousness Month nomenclature to National Disaster Resilience Month was approved. The renaming seeks to highlight the progression of the campaign focus from mere awareness (consciousness) – building to one that is focused on building resilience as an outcome of the concerted effort of the Council members.

Further, presentations on the new NDRRM Operations Center, updates on the disaster preparedness pillar as well as the weather and climate outlook for 2017 were delivered.

Subsequent with the Council meeting is the ceremonial launching of the Cellular Broadcast System (CBS) through SMART Communications attended by NDRRMC Chairperson and National Defense Secretary Delfin N Lorenzana. Senator Grace Poe-Llamanzares graced the occasion as one of the proponents of RA 10639 also known as the Free Mobile Disaster Alerts Act, she was represented by Mr Brian Poe-Llamanzares during the occassion. Other guests present during the ceremonial launching were Atty Neri J Colmenares and SMART Communications Public Affairs Head Ramon R Isberto. 

The cell broadcast system is an initiative of SMART Communications in cooperation with NDRRMC. This technology enables the quick transmission of messages to a large number of mobile devices within a designated area, making it an effective system of issuing warnings to the public in times of calamities. It also allows telecommunication providers to send out alert messages with minimal use of network resources.

The National Council lauds SMART for its initiative to support the enhancement of early warning systems.

“The emergence of this technology gives us confidence that we would be able to provide timely, hazard-specific and location specific warnings to our people so that they can do what needs to be done to face the challenge of hazards and disasters,” said Secretary Delfin N Lorenzana.

NDRRMC and SMART is set to conduct a test run of the CBS technology in Luzon with the hope to further boost the early warning system initiatives of the country.