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.

Montejo said that Doppler radars give timely information on the motion and intensity of rain two days prior to its occurrence.

“With the Doppler radar, the local government units, especially the local communities, will have enough time to prepare for any possible typhoons,” Montejo said

He added that the Doppler radar in Mactan station is back in operation while the one in Lapu-lapu City started to operate last October. DOST is also planning to install another Doppler radar either in Bohol or Siquijor.

He also revealed that DOST is acquiring three mobile Doppler radars and developing the know-how in assembling the equipment so that the DOST will not be dependent on suppliers.

On earthquakes, Sec.Monetejo said that the DOST is also mapping the areas vulnerable to earthquake as they are trying to locate additional fault lines and increase sensor mapping.

Although Montejo admitted that there is still no technology that can predict earthquakes, he said that DOST’s Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) is developing a local tsunami warning system to provide real-time information and warning signals in high-risk coastal communities, particularly in the Visayas area.

Information dissemination campaign
Aside from developing and deploying instruments on weather and earthquakes, DOST also recognizes the vital role of equipping the disaster managers and local communities on enhancing their knowledge on tnatural disasters. 

As such, DOST, through the Science and Technology Information Institute, PAGASA, and Phivolcs, held a three-month nationwide information campaign called “Iba na ang Panahon: Science for Safer Communities” Project. Held in partnership with the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), the campaign held seminar-workshops and training in 17 regions in the country to provide the local chief executives and other provincial disaster risk reduction managers (PDRRM) with better understanding on the hazards in their own localities. Lectures focused on science-based tools such as high resolution maps and flood modeling software that will help the local government in reducing the loss of lives and damage to properties and infrastructures during calamities.

Recently, DOST-STII, in partnership with Kapisanan ng Broadkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP), also held series of seminar-workshops in major provinces in the country such as Cagayan, Cebu, Davao, and Butuan. Titled “Seminar-Workshop on Responsible Weather Reporting”, the activity aimed to increase the knowledge of local radio and television announcers in order to provide weather responsible reporting to the public. (S&T Media Service)

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