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UK Space Agency launches pioneer communications satellite project in Bicol

Legazpi City—The DSWD Regional Office was selected as the pioneer testing ground for a communications satellite project made possible through the partnership of the Philippine Government and the United Kingdom Space Agency to establish a reliable and stable mobile and data connection within the first 24 hours after disasters.

The said project will be implemented for two years that will officially start this coming April. The DSWD Regional Office that also serves as the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction Management (RDRRM) Deputy on Response Cluster will receive five units of communications satellites which will be installed in its main office and provincial offices. After eight months, four out of the five units will be redistributed to other DSWD regional offices. Inmarsat will donate the said equipment to DSWD once the project ends in 2019.

An initial dialogue was conducted last January 13, 2017 in Legazpi City with the project team from Inmarsat, a British mobile satellite company, and DSWD, the lead agency on disaster response.

During the said dialogue, Disaster Response Assistance and Management Bureau Head Felino Castro said that the Department has been bolstering its efforts to improve its operations systems during disaster response and has reassured that the stewardship of these communication equipment is its prime lookout.

“The facility is valuable to the uninterrupted communication between the Disaster Quick Response Teams (QRT) reporting at the regional office and provincial offices to ensure that affected local government units (LGUs) will receive prompt relief augmentation,” DSWD Regional Director Arnel Garcia said.

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