By Roy Mabasa
The Philippines and Japan on Monday jointly launched the Disaster Emergency Logistics System for ASEAN (DELSA) to further strengthen the Southeast Asian region’s collective response to natural disasters.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and Japan Embassy Minister Makoto Iyori led the ceremony held at the DELSA Satellite Warehouse in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City.
The establishment of the Satellite Warehouse in the Philippines, funded by Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF), will significantly improve response time since stockpiles in the warehouse can be quickly delivered to disaster-affected areas right away without the need to wait for shipments from other countries in the region.
The Satellite Warehouse under the DELSA is another deliverable in support of the ASEAN Chairmanship theme of “Advancing Partnership for Sustainability.”
The project is also supported by the ASEAN Coordinating Center for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management (AHA Center), an intergovernmental organization aimed to facilitate cooperation and coordination of disaster management amongst the ASEAN Member States.
The AHA Center agreement was signed by ASEAN Foreign Ministers on November 17, 2011.
Also present at the ceremony were AHA Centre Executive Director Adelina Kamal and Civil Defense Administration Undersecretary Ricardo Jalad.