by: Regina Mae Ronquillo
Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and the Philippine Army joined forces in strengthening the Philippines’ disaster preparedness by adapting DOST Caraga’s disaster risk reduction and management model.
On Thursday, the Department of Science and Technology, represented by Secretary Renato U. Solidum Jr. and Usec. Sancho Mabborang with DOST Caraga Regional Director Noel M. Ajoc and the Reserve Command of the Philippine Army, represented by Major General Fernando Felipe together with Col Calixto Cadano, Jr. inked a Memorandum of Partnership Agreement for the deployment of Flood Event Visualization, and Damage Estimation (Flood EViDEns) to the national level.
“With your technology, we can now anticipate risk-prone areas so we can execute evacuation immediately to minimize damage and casualties,” said Commander of Philippine Army Reserve Command, Major General Fernando V. Felipe as he express credence in saving more lives.
The Flood EViDEns is a DOST-funded technology developed through Geo-SAFER Mindanao, a collaborative program of DOST Caraga and Caraga State University. The technology has been used by the 15th Regional Community Defense Group (RCDG), RESCOM, PA in Bancasi, Butuan City which has become an integral component in the operationalization of the Science and Technology Operations for Risk Reduction and Management (STORRM) Center.
In the recently released WorldRiskReport 2022, the Philippines ranked first as the most disaster-prone country with a disaster risk index score of 46.82. This highlights the country’s vulnerability to natural hazards and emphasizes the need for an effective disaster risk reduction plan.
DOST Undersecretary for Regional Operations. Engr. Sancho M. Mabborang said that the nationwide deployment of the technology to the Reserve Command of the Philippine Army is an important step towards more equipped responders and disaster-ready communities.
“Critical to our preparedness and lessening the impact on lives and livelihood would be a concept that I always advocate for, and this would be having the right science-based disaster initiative,” said Secretary Solidum as he emphasized that technology alone can’t address the reduction of casualties and impact on livelihood, “information shared through the technologies should be used to inform, train, and seek reactive participation from local government leaders and its residents.”46