Quezon City will soon rid its estuaries of tons of garbage clogging its waterways with the recent turnover of an Automatic Trash Raker Facility (ATR) by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) to the city.

The waterways run all the way to San Juan River which is blamed for the above-the-waist flooding in G. Araneta Avenue in QC and its nearby barangays.

Developed by DOST’s Metals Institute Research and Development Center, the ATR was patterned after existing foreign developed trash rakers in Metro Manila’s pumping stations. At five meters high and six meters wide, the machine has six rakes and is run by a 10 HP motor output. It collects trash thrice a day for 5-10 minutes, depending on the volume of garbage that flows especially during typhoons.

Science Secretary Mario G. Montejo continues to highlight the importance of preparedness to prevent disaster mishaps, especially during extreme weather disturbances. During a recent science event in Cebu, Sec. Montejo assured that the Department of Science and Technology puts disaster preparedness among its top agenda.

Sec. Montejo said that one of the goals of DOST’s Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical Services and Administration (PAGASA) is to monitor the weather 27/7 and issue weather advisories 48 hours before a weather disturbance hits the country.  PAGASA monitors through Doppler radars installed all over the country. These radars function as sentries that monitor weather conditions.

There is no doubt that biotechnology has helped boost our agricultural sector, affirmed Dr. Reynaldo V. Ebora, director of National Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (BIOTECH)  at the University of the Philippines Los Baños.  

Dr. Ebora said that products from conventional biotechnology such as bio-fertilizers have helped farmers increased their yields.  Likewise, Bt corn, a product of advanced biotechnology, is widely adopted by our farmers and has helped the country attain self sufficiency in corn, he added.

The Department of Science and Technology’s (DOST) 3D mapping project called Disaster Risk Assessment, Exposure and Mitigation-Light Ranging and Detection Technology (DREAM-LiDAR) recently won the prestigious Asia Geospatial Excellence Award. DOST Asst. Secretary Raymund E. Liboro and project leader Dr. Eric Paringit of the University of the Philippines Diliman received the award  during the Inaugural Ceremony of the Asia Geospatial Forum 2014 held in Jakarta, Indonesia last Nov. 25.

A component of the Nationwide Operational Assessment for Hazards (Project NOAH), the DREAM-LiDAR addresses and helps mitigate the effects of flooding disasters in the country by collecting precise geospatial data using ‪LiDAR technology‬‬ to produce 3D high-resolution maps of the country’s major river systems, their watersheds and floodplains.

The continuous supply of electricity is the main concern of electric cooperatives (ECs) in the country, during times of natural calamities like strong typhoons or habagat (southwest monsoon) episodes. that topple down power lines and put entire communities in darkness. Similarly, this is every housewife’s nightmare, when electricity is out and she has to prepare the day’s meal.

Because of these fortuitous events, the National Electrification Administration or NEA, the government agency overseeing the electric cooperatives consulted the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and the Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards or Project NOAH for information regarding the changing weather patterns, natural hazards and their impact and disaster preparedness. The consultation is an important input in the formulation of the NEA’s  contingency plans.