DOST Campaign Highlights DREAM, other DOST tools

DREAM joined the official launch of the Iba na ang Panahon: Science for Safer Communities Roadshow last March 3-4, 2014, spearheaded by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), and the Office of Civil Defense (OCD), in the Oxford Princess Hotel in Clarkfield, Angeles, Pampanga.


After months of preparation, DOST, in partnership with DILG and OCD, opened the nationwide roadshow campaign in Region III, the Central Luzon leg, in a big 2-day event, which was live-streamed to the public through a link in the DOST website, and covered by media outfits.


Present to grace the occasion was DOST Secretary Mario G. Montejo, Pampanga Board Member Rosve Henson, and Angeles City Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan. The event was attended by around 200 representatives including governors and mayors from the local government units of Aurora, Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Tarlac, and Zambales.


The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), Project Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards (NOAH), Disaster Risk and Exposure Assessment for Mitigation (DREAM) Program, and Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) had the primary role of updating the participants on their technological and web-based contributions to disaster preparedness, awareness and disaster risk reduction. The heads of these respective institutions, namely Administrator Vicente Malano, Executive Director Mahar Lagmay, Program Leader Dr. Enrico Paringit, and Director Renato Solidum, respectively, each welcomed the participants with 15-minute comprehensive powerpoint presentations on hazards information systems and maps in the country, as well as the state-of-the-art technologies behind these. They also mentioned the key concept of ‘disaster imagination,’ which involved creating in the participants’ minds the worst-case scenarios and how to effectively manage it.


Also central to the event's theme was the message that times are changing—both negatively and positively. The country is to face worse flooding, landslide, and earthquake scenarios, among others, but there is an assurance that LGUs and communities can rely on the accurate knowledge products and tools that the DOST and its attached agencies have made available to the public. These include the DREAM Program's up-to-date and high-resolution flood hazard maps, some of which have already been distributed to certain provinces and municipalities in the country. DREAM’s LiDAR-based maps were presented to be multi-functional, as it has a wide range of applications. It serves as a refinement of existing maps and also aids in the mapping of other hazards, such as landslides, earthquakes, and storm surges. In turn, participants were expected to produce early warning protocols that will be utilized in their respective localities, to be monitored by DILG and NDRRMC through joint efforts.


After the Central Luzon leg, DOST will continue the roadshow and visit other regions in the Philippines together with DREAM, PAGASA, NOAH, and PHIVOLCS, carrying the same message that extreme rainfall events and droughts may be expected in the near future, but the available scientific tools, if we use it, can greatly mitigate the disasters and hazards that loom ahead. For succeeding regions, the data and presentations will tailor-fit each locality, specifically the participating provinces and municipalities.