DREAM participates in NOAH'ts App media forum
DREAM Program representatives attended the media forum organized by Project NOAH last August 6, 2014 and held in the National Institute of Geological Sciences (NIGS). Print and social media representatives as well as the UP Information Office of the Chancellor, among others, participated in the said event.
DREAM Data Processing Chief Science Research Specialist Engr. Louie Fabila opened the event with an overview of the DREAM and Phil LiDAR 1 Program, while Project NOAH Executive Director Alfredo Mahar Lagmay followed with the current update on NOAH’s operations and outputs.
A representative from the Manila Bulletin showed keen interest in Project NOAH and DREAM and asked a series of questions for publication in their newspaper. Meanwhile, the representative of a twitter blogger social media group commended Project NOAH and the DREAM Program for their efforts towards generating highly accurate multi-hazard maps and concretizing early warning systems for disasters.
According to Dr Lagmay, who has been in Disaster Risk Management for more than 20 years, he believes that these necessary activities cannot be financed by Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) or become a Foreign-Assisted Projects. He stated that one cannot be calling Japan or any foreign consultant or supplier when a disaster hits the country. Domestically-funded projects would give Filipinos a sense of ownership and will lead to a more effective project as well, similar to what is happening now, when Project NOAH and the DREAM Program was able to save thousands of lives during several typhoons through 4-6 hours’ notice or early warnings of flooding. Dr. Lagmay stressed that there is no one better to address and respond to disaster than our own people. In addition, Dr. Paringit has stated that if a foreign supplier were to do the LiDAR mapping of the DREAM Program, it will be roughly 5 times its current cost, not counting the local manpower’s loss that otherwise, they would have to seek alternative employment here or abroad.
During the question and answer portion, Dr. Mahar admittied that having the best possible technology and data is one thing but communicating these new information to every affected Filipino remains a serious challenge. Dr Lagmay thus prodded print and mass media as well as social media to help in the dissemination of the news regarding early warnings of disasters and the use of the accurate multi-hazard maps.
Lastly, Dr. Carlo Arcilla, Director of NIGS, delivered the closing remarks at the end of the media forum. He also firmly supports the operations of Project NOAH and DREAM Program as useful and an effective way to spend taxpayer's funds as it helps save lives.