Press Release
December 22, 2011


Senator Edgardo J. Angara urged telecommunications providers to draw up disaster management plans and ensure that the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) infrastructure they utilize are resilient against natural calamities.

Angara, Chair of the Senate Committee on Science and Technology, cited a recent survey from Regus--a Luxembourg-based flexible workplace solutions provider--showing nearly half of Philippine-based respondents do not have disaster recovery plans in place for their ICT systems.

"Real-time communication is an asset during large-scale calamities, such as Typhoon Sendong. We enhance our abilities in managing disasters when we make sure that in the face of any disruption, our telecommunications services are resilient and quick to go back online," said Angara.

The Regus survey found that 48 percent of respondents in the Philippines do not have an IT system recovery plan to ensure that systems would be running within 24 hours of a disaster. The result is three points higher than the global average of 45 percent.

"If some of our telcos have yet to incorporate disaster resilience into their operations, then now is not the time for them to take a wait-and-see attitude. The extensive devastation caused by recent floods only tells us that we can never be too prepared for natural disasters," stressed Angara, who is also Chair of the Congressional Commission on Science, Technology and Engineering (COMSTE).

The veteran lawmaker explained that such endeavors should not be undertaken by the telcos alone. "Various sectors of society ought to work together, especially in cultivating the knowledge necessary not just in responding to disasters, but also in reducing our risk and vulnerabilities."

COMSTE has been pushing for the deployment of an innovation cluster--a public-private partnership among government, the academe and the private sector that will conduct research into the development of technologies useful in Disaster Science and Management.

Angara noted that around P60 million has been allocated in 2012 budget for the creation of such a cluster.

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