Aquino assures Filipinos of homeland security by reducing casualties, property loss from extreme hazard events

July 6, 2012 9:27 pm 

MANILA, July 6 — President Benigno S. Aquino III assured Filipinos of homeland security by reducing casualties and property loss from extreme hazard events and building disaster resilient communities in the Philippines.

In his speech keynoting the formal launching of the Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards or Project NOAH at the Nangka Del Covered Court, Balubad Settlement Phase II in Barangay Nangka, Marikina City on Friday, President Aquino said the project leverages on advanced science and technology to mitigate the impacts of natural hazards.

"Ang Project NOAH po ang magsisilbing arko ng mga Pilipino laban sa delubyo. Tutuldukan na natin ang nakasanayang pagtitiis tuwing tag-ulan. Hindi na puwede ang 'bahala na,' sawa na tayo sa kaba. Sa tama at sapat na kaalaman, sasanayin natin ang mga Pilipino sa puspusang kahandaan," the Chief Executive said.

President Aquino stressed that natural hazards inflicted loss of lives and costly damage to property in the past years. Last year, the devastating impacts of Pedring, Quiel and Sendong resulted to a high number of fatalities with economic losses amounting to billions of pesos.

"Nang magsimula po tayong manungkulan, pinagtuunan po natin ng pansin ang mga suliraning hatid ng bagyo. Isa po sa mga isinulong natin — ang pagbutihin at dagdagan ang ating mga kasangkapan. Ang apat na locally-assembled na water level monitoring sensors na dinatnan natin noong 2010, nadagdagan natin ng siyam nitong 2011 at labindalawa na ngayong 2012, at hindi pa ho tapos ang 2012," he said.

"Isandaang automated rain gauges naman po ang nai-assemble natin noong nakaraang taon, at ngayon, suma-total walumpu’t anim na ang nai-deploy sa iba’t ibang rehiyon sa bansa. Simula noong 2010, operational na rin ang anim na Doppler radar stations sa Baguio, Subic, Tagaytay, Virac, Mactan, at Hinatuan. Tatlong karagdagang Doppler weather radars naman ang inaasahan nating maging operational sa Tampakan, Aparri, at Baler bago matapos ang 2012," he said.

Through the use of advanced science and technology, the President said Project NOAH aims to improve disaster management capacity of local governments and assure homeland security by reducing casualties and property loss from extreme hazard events.

The project will harness the technologies and management services of disaster risk reduction activities offered by the DOST through the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services (PAGASA), the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS), and the DOST-Advanced Science and Technology Institute in partnership with the UP National Institute of Geological Sciences and the UP College of Engineering.

"At ngayon pong nailunsad na ang Project NOAH, tiwala tayong madadagdagan pa at mapapabuti ang ating mga kasangkapan at kagamitan. Ang target po ng DOST ay anim na raang locally-produced automated rain gauges at apat na raang water level monitoring sensors ang maipakabit sa mga piling lokasyon sa iba’t ibang bahagi ng bansa bago matapos ang 2013," he said.

Project NOAH is the Department of Science and Technology’s response to the call of President Aquino III for a more accurate, integrated, and responsive disaster prevention and mitigation system, especially in high-risk areas throughout the Philippines.

"Ngayon po, hindi na palad ang panukat sa lakas ng ulan — tiyak ang datos na makakalap natin sa ating rain gauges. Hindi na po tuhod, baywang, at ulo ang panukat natin sa libel ng tubig-ulan — eksaktong sukat na ang hatid sa atin ng water level sensors. Hindi na rin po padadaanin sa hula ang lagay ng panahon at kung saan babagsak ang ulan — real time na datos at impormasyon na rin ang hatid sa atin ng Doppler radars," the President noted. (PNA) lgi/PCOO/ssc

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