Cebu municipality receives disaster-proof communications system from Japan

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SAN REMIGIO, Cebu — A P10.6 million ICT communications system that can provide telephone and Internet connectivity in disaster situations has been given to the local government here by the Japanese government.

The MDRU or the Movable and Deployable Resource Unit has been developed in Japan following the East Japan earthquake in 2011 and deployed here in Cebu with the cooperation of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).

“We can not afford not to have an emergency communications system,”DOST Secretary Mario Montejo said in a press conference.

The MDRU is as big as a generator and is capable of a wide array of communications equipment, servers, and storage devices, in addition to its data center functions. It can run on its own power or tap power generators or active power lines and can be booted up within an hour.

The system was deployed in San Remigio after this coastal municipality was devastated by Typhoon Yolanda in November 2013. But being a scalable and deployable system, the MDRU can also be transported in other locations in Cebu as needed.

“Recent disasters have shown the need for a new communication system platform to address needs,” Montejo said.

Director General Kiyoshi Mori of the International Affairs Global ICT Strategy Bureau of the Japanese government said they are also looking into further expanding the ICT cooperation between Japan and the Philippines.

“This is a very good example of cooperation between the Japan and the Philippines.
After this we want to enhance this cooperation between our two countries,” Mori said.

To fully utilize the MDRU, the local government, which has taken custody of the unit, will also use it for non-emergency applications like providing Internet connectivity to the municipal hall and a nearby school.

“ICT resources can make a difference in improving the lives of people especially in the countryside,” Montejo said.

The MDRU project in the Philippines was proposed and launched by the Nippon Telegraph Telephone group with support of the Japanese government and in cooperation with the DOST, and the Central Visayas Information Sharing Network Foundation, Inc.


By Jose Bimbo F. Santos

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