by Kristina Aloida Tolentino
On the closing day of the annual three-day science fair and exhibit, Syensaya 2014 continues to showcase different scientific innovations from institutions and research organizations catering to the theme of the event “Los Baños Science Community: supporting the nation in meeting global challenges.”
The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Region 4-A showcased their innovations focusing on risk reduction management. Featured projects in the booth include fiberglass rescue boats, volumetric calibration laboratory, and the ICT-based innovation called Project HaNDA (Hazard Notification, Dissemination and Awareness).
Project HaNDA is a website based system that updates and disseminates disaster-related announcements covering earthquake, volcano, and weather bulletins as well as tropical cyclone to concerned government agencies within the region (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon provinces).
Information dissemination of the technology works in a top-down approach that enables the system to give updates within minutes of notice. Concerning agencies like PAGASA, PHIVOLC, and RDRRMCA channel information to DOST Region 4-A from time to time. And the DOST then updates the websites and notifies local units of Disaster Risk Reduction Management Officers (DRRMOs) through generated sim cards accessible only by both parties.
The website includes a map and provides visual representations of real-time situations on specific regions. It also includes weather bulletins and modules on dissemination, feedback, and public inquiry.
According to France Lagro, project coordinator from DOST, there is a need for more funding, research and acceptance of these risk reduction management programs since the country is constantly experiencing calamities thus these are great tools to keep people informed and prevent disasters to occur.
The system was developed in 2010 and is still accessible through the website drrm.region4a.dost.gov.ph.