By: Jerome R. Paunan
QUEZON CITY, Sept. 12 (PIA) – Want to monitor news reports and Philippine government agencies when disaster occurs? Want to turn your smartphone into your very own utility dervice?
Now you can with the “Batingaw” mobile app, an application for disaster risk reduction and management, now available for free download at Google Play and Apple App Store.
The Batingaw app was developed by Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) in cooperation with the Office of Civil Defense and the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.
“As a result of the increasing intensity and frequency of disasters happening around the world, the need for tools that will not only strengthen public awareness on the importance of disaster preparedness, but also facilitate a nationwide system for disaster response and management, is underscored,” Smart said in a statement.
Batingaw, a Tagalog word for “siren”, is a pro-active, comprehensive and rational disaster management mobile application adopted by the OCD and NDRRMC as a communication tool to help reduce and mitigate the disastrous effects of natural and human-made hazards to vulnerable communities with the help of mobile technologies.
“The mobile app can be used to give government agencies, organizations and individuals, immediate access to disaster warnings, advisories, location data, and disaster mappings. It features step-by-step instructions that can guide users to safety during disasters. The app also enables users to contribute information to emergency agencies more easily and quickly,” Smart added.
“The OCD and the NDRRMC continue to explore ways to inform the public on disaster risk reduction and management measures and systems to help save lives and properties. With this mobile application, we have added another strategy to reach out to people with helpful tools right at their fingertips,” Usec Alexander P. Pama, Civil Defense Administrator and NDRRMC Executive Director said.
For his part, Smart Head for Public Affairs Group Ramon R. Isberto said, “We support initiatives that utilize the mobile phone as a tool for disaster preparedness. These days, almost everyone has a mobile phone, and this can be a valuable lifeline during emergencies.”
“With Batingaw, the mobile phone now becomes a handy electronic resource that the public can use in times of emergencies. It provides basic information on how to reduce one’s vulnerability during disasters. It may also be used as a learning tool for preparedness for individuals, their families, and entire communities before, during, and after disasters,” he added. (RJB/JCP/PIA-NCR)