Mobile Command Center (MCC): DSWD’s Latest Disaster Response Station Hub

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) recently launched its latest, hi-tech, disaster response station hub: the Mobile Command Center (MCC). Last Tuesday, 28 May 2024, a total of 14 MCCs were officially inaugurated at the DSWD Central Office in Quezon City.

As a custom-made vehicle, the MCC is equipped with state-of-the-art Information and Communications Technology (ICT), power supply, and other devices that are vital during natural calamities and emergency situations. After the blessing and send off ceremony, the MCCs were deployed to DSWD Field Offices all over the country.

DSWD Mobile Command Center
Image Credit: @dswdserves / X (formerly Twitter)

What is a Mobile Command Center?

As mentioned earlier, the MCC is a customized vehicle that contains ICT equipment, power supply, and other devices. Basically, it seeks to “bridge” the communication gap during natural disasters or emergencies. It shall serve as an essential linkage between disaster-stricken areas and the Regional Operations Center (ROC), the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (RDRRMC), and the Disaster Response Command Center (DRCC), among other stakeholders.

Notably, the Disaster Response Command Center or DRCC shall serve as the central information hub during calamities or emergencies. Its roles include disaster monitoring, reporting, and coordination of preparations and response efforts. Together with the MCC, it shall aim for seamless collaboration with the DSWD Field Offices, DSWD Central Office, the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC), and other partners.

According to DSWD Assistant Secretary for Disaster Response Management Group (DRMG) Irene Dumlao, the MCC will ensure continuous, timely, reliable, and effective telecommunications in times of natural calamities and emergency situations.

“The MCCs use satellite technology managed by DSWD Deployment teams,” Asst. Sec. Dumlao stated, as cited by a DSWD press release. “Through the system, our teams will be able to provide uninterrupted critical information for humanitarian response efforts and disaster response operations in the disaster-stricken area.”

MCC Deployment Team

The Mobile Command Center shall be managed by the MCC Deployment Team. They will operate the mobile hub to ensure continuous, timely, and effective telecommunications support.

Each MCC Deployment Team shall be composed of the following persons:

  • One (1) Team Leader – for supervision;
  • Two (2) DSWD-Government Emergency Telecommunications Team (GETT) members – they are skilled in ICT management, networking, electronics, and communications;
  • Three (3) trained Quick Response Team (QRT) members – they are skilled in data gathering, report preparation, and response cluster management; and
  • One (1) vehicle driver/operator – familiar with the deployment areas as well as service vehicle maintenance.
DSWD Mobile Command Center
Image Credit: @dswdserves / X (formerly Twitter)

Features of the MCC

In another DSWD press release, DSWD Asst. Sec. Dumlao described the features of the MCC, particularly its Wi-Fi connectivity, handheld digital radio, laptops, and monitors. Let’s get to know more about each feature:

1. Wi-Fi Connectivity

Each MCC offers free Wi-Fi connectivity, which is truly necessary especially in cases of emergency. It also has a power supply where staff and affected persons can charge their mobile phones.

In addition, the MCC has Wireless Access Points, which provide coverage in areas where wired connectivity is limited or not feasible.

“Our MCCs offer system redundancy because of its capacity to provide Internet connection through satellite Internet, and power supply from generator sets/uninterruptible power supply (UPS),” Asst. Sec. Dumlao stated.

“This means that it can help a lot of affected residents to connect with their loved ones when the power supply in their area is down,” she explained.

2. Handheld Digital Radio

What’s more, each MCC is also equipped with UHF Handheld Digital Radio. This enables disaster response teams to monitor and respond to emergencies immediately through transmission and voice messaging.

3. Laptops and Monitors

Finally, each MCC has laptops and screens for information monitoring, data consolidation, and report preparation. It also has printers, scanners, and other necessary equipment.

Video: News Report About MCC Launching

To learn more about the Mobile Command Center, check out this video by Eurotv News, featuring a news report about the launching of the MCC by the DSWD:

Latest Updates

Last Monday, 27 May 2024, the DSWD Disaster Response Management Bureau (DRMB) conducted the “Orientation on Mobile Command Center (MCC)” to Field Office (FO) drivers. According to a DSWD Facebook post, the orientation sought to equip the drivers with the necessary knowledge and skills regarding the safe and efficient operation of MCC vehicles.

The orientation was led by Special Assistant for the Secretary (SAS) for Disaster Response and Management Group (DRMG) and Concurrent Officer-in-Charge (OIC) of the National Resource and Logistics Management Bureau (NRLMB), Leo Quintilla. It was held at the National Resource Operations Center (NROC) in Pasay City.

Interestingly, not long after the launching of the MCCs, the country witnessed a serious threat: the eruption of Mount Kanlaon, an active volcano, in Negros Oriental. On the evening June 3, an explosive eruption occurred on the volcano’s summit vent. As a result, PHIVOLCS raised its alert level from Level 1 to Level 2.

As of Tuesday, 4 June 2024, the Mobile Command Center (MCC) of DSWD Field Office 7 was on its way to Canlaon City, according to a Facebook post by the said office. At the same time, the Field Office’s Disaster Response Management and Warehouse team in Negros Oriental, together with the Visayas Disaster Resource Center in Mandaue City, has been actively preparing goods to be delivered to Canlaon City as well.

DSWD Mobile Command Center
Image Credit: @dswdserves / X (formerly Twitter)

Final Thoughts

Without a doubt, the MCC shall serve as a valuable addition to the country’s disaster response and management efforts. Thanks to the Wi-Fi connectivity, power supply, and telecommunications that it offers — preparing for and responding to various calamities and emergencies can go smoothly and more effectively.

Speaking of emergencies, another crucial part of disaster response is the provision of relief assistance. Although local government units (LGUs) are usually prepared in times of calamities, their resources may not be enough.

Fortunately, the DSWD, through its regional Field Offices, often provides relief augmentation. Family Food Packs (FFPs) as well as Non-Food Items (NFIs) are prepared and stored in warehouses and storage facilities. But what exactly is inside a family food pack? What non-food items are provided to affected families? Check out this article to know the answers to these questions!