MGB & PAGASA Personnel Receive Training on LiDAR

In line with the closing of the PHIL-LiDAR 1 Program this year, a training to the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) and Mines Geosciences Bureau (MGB) personnel as the receiving agencies was conducted on September 11-14, 2014 at the JICA room of the National Engineering Center of University of the Philippines Diliman. The training entitled “Flood Modeling and Mapping Training” was facilitated by the Flood Modeling Component of PHIL-LiDAR 1 headed by Chief Science Research Specialist Christopher Uichanco along with his team. Dr. Enrico C. Paringit, the Program Leader was also present throughout the four-day training in support to the event who also added valuable insights on the core mission of the program, use of the technology, and flood map harmonization forum, which took place on the last day of the training. 

A total of 40 participants attended the training, 15 from PAGASA Head Office and Field Stations and 25 from the well-represented MGB coming both from the Regional Offices and Central Office headed by Geologist Liza Manzano. PAGASA participants completed a two-day training allotted for them while MGB lasted four days.

Day 1 of the training covered the Introduction to Flooding Hazards & Disasters and Flood Modeling facilitated by Christopher Uichanco, Introduction to HEC-HMS, Uses and Limitations, Flow Measurements and Curves by Sylvia Sueno, then the Model Parameterization and Meteorologic Model in HEC-HMS for Simulation Run by Miguel del Rosario. 

Day 2 was as busy as the first day despite the cancellation of work in Metro Manila due to bad weather but the training continued which only shows the relentless diligence of everyone toward the training. The activities included Review of HMS Model facilitated by Sylvia Sueno, Simulation Runs and Model Calibration, Initial Efficiency Assessment and Validation by Mariel Monteclaro, Optimization Trial, Presentation of Model Efficiency Assessment by Sylvia Sueno. A Turnover Ceremony took place in the afternoon for PHIL-LiDAR 1 Hydrologic Models and Hazard Maps to PAGASA. High-ranking government officials graced the turnover ceremony such as Undersecretary Rowena Cristina L. Guevara of the Department of Science and 

Technology (DOST), Hydrologist/Engineer Roy Badilla of PAGASA Head Office, and Geologist Liza Manzano of MGB Central Office.

Day 3 activities were for the remaining MGB participants which tackled LISFLOOD-FP Operations facilitated by Hale Ines. It focused on model building, model visualization, as well as the application and uses of generated LISFLOOD-FP flood models and workshop exercises by Hannah Aventurado.

Day 4, which was the last day, discussed Vulnerability Assessment & Flood Risk Profiling, Feature Extraction, and Validation facilitated by Neil Tingin. In the afternoon was the MGB and PHIL-LiDAR 1 Flood Map Harmonization facilitated by Christopher Uichanco for the presentation of initial harmonization initiatives, presentation of side by side comparison of flood maps by Miguel del Rosario, and gathering of comments & suggestions on the rules of the flood map harmonization from audience headed by Liza Manzano. The comments and suggestions turned out interactive with some exchanges of ideas from MGB regional, head office, and from the PHIL-LiDAR 1 personnel including Dr. Enrico C. Paringit as program leader. The activity was ended with the distribution of certificates to the participants, messages from MGB Region 11 representatives Beverly Mae M. Brebante, MGB Information, Education, and Communication Unit head, Ms. Liza Manzano, with the Closing Remarks delivered by Dr. Enrico C. Paringit, Dr. Eng. of the PHIL-LiDAR 1 program, and photo ops.

Ms. Brebante highlighted the importance of new technology and the capacity of MGB to keep up with the latest developments to be able to update their existing maps. She said that the new generation in MGB shall be at the forefront of this to stay relevant in their mandate, especially in producing the flood validation maps using specific methodology. They must make seamless their own maps in MGB first, before merging it with the Phil-LiDAR 1 maps. As for Ms. Liza Manzano, she stated that the first flood validation maps of MGB were constructed decades ago, and she was part of the team that spearheaded the endeavor. She said that the methodology was valid at that time, and with the wide scope of their flood validation and research, ensured the reliability of the MGB maps. It was up to the current staff of MGB in charge of the flood validation maps to communicate with each other and come up with the seamless MGB maps. Dr. Paringit gave the closing remarks, which centered on the need to work hand-in-hand with MGB as end-users of LiDAR data. This would increase our resiliency if the maps would be put to good use by stakeholders and policymakers. He thanked the group for their insights on the flood map harmonization of MGB and Phil-LiDAR 1.

After the training of each agency, a Turnover Ceremony was conducted for each to conclude the transfer of knowledge on the LiDAR technology. Both agencies will be responsible in using the technology as the project closes so to continue its use and to benefit the Filipino people as part of the disaster risk and mitigation program of the government.