with reports from Kimberly Salamatin, Arron Lucius Herbon and Christian Rieza
A technology forum was held at the New College of Arts and Sciences auditorium of the University of the Philippines Los Banos on September 11 during the Syensaya science festival for the benefit of barangay officials, municipal government staff, students, and other community stakeholders.
The activity aimed to disseminate information regarding calamities, as well as necessary preparations and response during calamities.
This year’s forum focused on calamity in light of the recent experience with typhoon Glenda that affected many parts of the country and caused heavy damage to property particularly in Los Banos.
Dr. Primo Garcia, chair of the Techno Forum Committee 2014, said that the forum is very timely because the affected people and communities find disaster preparedness relevant and necessary.
“Maraming naapektuhan noong Bagyong Glenda noong July, particularly sa UP Los Baños. Napapanahon po talaga ang topic natin at napag-isapan ng LBSCFI (Los Baños Science Community Foundation Inc. ) [na] ipamahagi sa mas malawak na audience ang mga isyu at mga kaalaman ukol sa disaster risk management,” Dr. Garcia said.
Barangay officials are the primary target of the techno forum because of their capability to effectively communicate information to their respective constituencies.
“Mas madali kasi kapag barangay officials ang nakakaalam kasi pwede silang magkaroon ng sarili nilang seminars at maituro nila ang mga natutunan nila sa kanilang nasasakupan,” Garcia added.
The forum featured Ms. Bernadeth Lucillo, chief meteorological officer at the National Agromet Station of PAGASA – UPLB, who lectured on the Hydrometeorological profile of Los Baños, Laguna.
The Philippine Disaster and Risk Reduction Management Act of 2010 was also discussed by Mr. Elvis Cruz, assistant regional director of the Office of Civil Defense of Region IV-A. The talk emphasized the importance of the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management (NDRRM) plan in responding, recovering, and in the rehabilitation process concerning disasters and calamities.
“NDRRM is everybody’s concern. We can minimize disaster risk by becoming more responsible citizens even in our little own ways by getting involved in the NDRRM efforts of the government,” Cruz stressed.
Finally, Mr. Martin Q. Imatong, LGU Disaster Risk Reduction Management consultant, delivered a lecture on the possible disasters that could be experienced by the Los Baños community such as volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, tsunami, and typhoons. Mr. Imatong discussed on the precautionary measures that could be done by the community people for disaster preparedness.
The participants found the forum interesting and informative. However, according to Eng. Ruel Tanqueco, one of the participants, it would have been better had they been given materials or visual aids for reference during the discussion and for future use.
The forum was organized by LBSCFI in cooperation with its partner organizations namely: Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), Laguna State Polytechnic University (LSPU), Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI), Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau (ERDB), Office of the Vice Chancellor for Administration (OVCA), Office of the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs (OVCAA), Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA), Boy Scouts of the Philippines (BSP)-Laguna, Department of Education (DepEd), and Department of Science and Technology (DOST).
The techno forum started several years ago to showcase technological advances to the people. It focuses on agriculture, water technology, and other innovations that benefit the local community.