Philippine Army deploys communication system to typhoon-afffected areas

The Philippine Army set up a communication system using satellite phones, Very Small Aperture Terminals (VSATs), and generators to speed up the government's disaster response.  Photo: Philippine Army/Facebook

TACLOBAN — The Philippine Army deployed additional satellite phones, Very Small Aperture Terminals (VSATs), and generators to Odette-affected areas to establish a communication system to expedite the government's disaster response.

Philippine Army Chief Maj. Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr. said, "As of today, we have deployed a satellite phone and VSAT at Western Command Headquarters in Puerto Princesa, Palawan, as well as three VSAT in Visayas Command (VISCOM). One VSAT installed in Mactan Cebu is now operational and connects the Philippine Air Force's Mactan Air Base to the internet. The remaining two (2) VSATs will be installed today at VISMIN's Lahug, Cebu City, and Tacloban City headquarters."

The newly deployed equipment is in addition to the satellite phones, VSAT, and military radios issued to all Army units across the country.

Philippine Army Signal Personnel tests the internet speed of the VSAT in Mactan Air Base in Cebu.

Posted by Philippine Army on Tuesday, December 21, 2021

"Communication is critical during times of crisis for our Commanders and leaders to better address the needs of our people. As a result, we prioritize the installation of critical communication equipment in critical areas while we wait for our telecom providers to restore service," the Commanding General added.

Since December 16, private telecom companies' telephone and internet services have been unavailable in areas impacted by Typhoon Odette.

Aside from providing an essential communication system to government and local officials, the Philippine Army also assisted Local Government Units (LGUs) in Northern and Eastern Mindanao, Eastern Visayas, and some areas in Southern Luzon in their HADR efforts.

Additionally, the Commanding General stated, "In collaboration with the LGUs and local disaster response unit, our soldiers conducted preemptive evacuation as early as December 15 before Odette hit Mindanao, Visayas, and some areas in Southern Luzon. Search and rescue operations followed on December 16. Our engineering units are also helping in the clearing of roads while the majority of our units are helping the government in its continuing relief operation in Typhoon Odette affected areas."

Maj. Gen. Brawner assured the Filipino people that the Philippine Army works 24/7 with other government agencies and sectors to expedite the necessary assistance to reach the affected residents. —Tacloban News Update (Source: Philippine Army)
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