MANILA - Helping communities and government agencies prepare and respond to disasters is one of the main advocacies in the Philippines of networking hardware giant Cisco.
Ensuring that communications systems continue to work before and after calamities is one of the most important tasks in disaster response, said Cisco Philippines managing director Karrie Ilagan.
Immediately following the onslaught of supertyphoon Yolanda in 2013, Cisco deployed its tactical operations team to the devastated areas.
Cisco, which produces hardware like the switches and routers that run the internet, helped bring telecommunications systems back online.
"We helped make sure that the communications infrastructure is restored so that relief operations can be completed or executed," Ilagan said in an exclusive interview with ANC's The Boss.
The interview was Ilagan's first for TV since her appointment as managing director of Cisco Philippines.
Through its participation in these disaster relief operations, Cisco engineers also learned a lot of things which they were able to apply in other scenarios, Ilagan said.
They developed a rapid response kit that was mobile, portable and could be used even by non-technical personnel during disasters.
After Yolanda, the equipment Cisco developed was also used during a wildfire incident in Washington. Relief workers in Ebola-stricken areas in Africa were also able to use the kit, Ilagan said.
While Cisco sees a robust market for its networking gear as the Philippines moves into digitalization, Ilagan said she's also glad to see how relevant Cisco's technology is for mitigating disasters in the country.
"Disaster management could be our biggest contribution to this country."
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