A SATELLITE warehouse under the Disaster Emergency Logistics System for ASEAN (DELSA) — which will hold a stockpile of different emergency needs such as food, sanitary kits, and building tools, that will be distributed during disaster response — was launched Monday in Camp Aguinaldo, the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ (AFP) headquarters located in Quezon City. “This satellite warehouse will supplement the existing regional stockpile managed by the World Food Programme at the UN Humanitarian Response Depot in Subang, Malaysia,” according to a press statement distributed during the launch.
The facility will be managed by the Office of Civil Defense and ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Coordinating Center for Humanitarian Assistance, with support from the Japanese government.
Other satellite warehouses are located in Malaysia and Thailand.
“The aim of prepositioning of ASEAN relief items in strategically located warehouses is to increase the speed and scale of an ASEAN response,” the statement said. Defense Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana, in a chance interview with reporters, said, “In the past we were caught unaware, we didn’t have preparations, we don’t have stockpiles of food and materials like these, so we had to exert a lot of time to gather these things before we can attend the victims of disasters. But now, you can just load these on the airplane and bring them to the disaster area.” — Vince Angelo C. Ferreras