Philippines

DOST showcases latest disaster preparedness technologies

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By: Danilo E. Doguiles

GENERAL SANTOS CITY, May 26 (PIA) -- Local chief executives and other local government officials, disaster managers, and other stakeholders are gathering in General Santos Monday, May 26, for the SOCCSKSARGEN leg of the “Iba na ang Panahon: Science for Safer Communities” information campaign.

“The activity is designed to extensively enlighten and inspire participants on the latest information, tools, and technologies crucial in disaster prevention and mitigation in the region,” DOST 12 Regional Director Zenaida Laidan told Philippine Information Agency.

According the information campaign’s website, the “Iba na ang panahon” is a two-pronged slogan: 1) time (‘panahon”) has changed (“Iba na”) which requires a move from antiquated “tools” to science and technology-based information and tools in designing disaster preparedness plans; and 2) Climate (“panahon”) change (“iba”) necessitates communities to be more prepared for hazards to make their communities safer.

These latest S & T tools include 3D hazard maps, flood models, Project NOAH, mobile applications and other modern tools for early warning of hazards, Laidan said.

The event also “aims to draw up early action plans as well as review and update disaster preparedness plans based on hazard maps at the regional and community levels,” she added.

DOST Secretary Mario Montejo will arrive here to address the participants.

According to the event briefer, the activities will take off with overviews on the Project DINA (Disaster Information for Nationwide Awareness, Project NOAH (Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards), Project DREAM (Disaster Risk Exposure Assessment for Mitigation (DREAM), local hydrometeorological hazards and warning systems, and local geologic hazards and warning systems.

Workshops aimed at boosting the participants’ knowledge on the use of hazard maps, geological hazards, hydrometeorological maps, and early warning tools, will follow.

Activities on Tuesday will focus on the presentation of the SOCCSKSARGEN Region’s Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Plan and strategizing actions and responses.

For the campaign, DOST has partnered with the Department of the Interior and Local Government and the Department (DILG) and National Defense – Office of Civil Defense (DND-OCD).

DOST-attached agencies, Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), Philippine Institute for Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs), and the Science and Technology Information Institute (STII) as well as DOST’s Project NOAH also take part in the advocacy in the 17 regions of the Philippines. (DEDoguiles-PIA 12)