LANDSLIDE. MinDA gathers data using drones to determine the extent of damage to the communities which was struck by the recent series of earthquakes. Some pose eminent danger of landslide. (Manny Piñol Photo)

KIDAPAWAN CITY – The Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) set up its Central Command Center and announced its full operation on Monday (November 4), here.

Situated in JCX Convention Center, the database would coordinate relief operations and gather data on the extent of damage due to the earthquake last October 16, 29 and 31.

The Command Center will serve as a coordinating unit for relief assistance and rehabilitation efforts for the earthquake victims, which badly hit Davao and Cotabato areas.

“The Central Command Center will cover all earthquake-affected areas in Davao and Cotabato Regions to aid swift relief response and data gathering,”Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said.

With the use of drones and digital technology on the mountainside communities, MinDA would determine the extent of damage to communities, and areas which need to be abandoned due to landslides.

“Many of the communities in the City of Kidapawan, Magpet, Tulunan and Makilala in North Cotabato and Magsaysay, Bansalan and Matanao in Davao del Sur may have to be abandoned by the residents,” Piñol said.

MinDA will soon complete a database that will register all victims and assistance needed.

“The database will register all victims, the damage they suffer, locations and the damage in their communities, and the support they needed,” Piñol emphasized.

MinDA further said that the database will guide donors in giving out reliefs and the line agencies in crafting post-disaster interventions to assist victims as they go back to their normal lives.

“We will recommend rehabilitation plans of the affected communities using the data gathered,” said Piñol, adding that, it will be given to the Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, who is the Martial Law Administrator and officer-in-charge of government operations to help the victims.

Furthermore, MinDA accepts donations of relief goods and assistance for the quake victims in all its offices in Zamboanga, Butuan, Cagayan de Oro, Koronadal, and Davao City.

The donations gathered will then be coursed through the proper agencies to avoid duplication of distribution efforts and ensure that all affected areas are reached and assisted.

“We will request coordination meetings with all agencies involved in the relief efforts to ensure that assistance is provided to the victims effectively and adequately,” Piñol stressed.

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