RP needs to prioritize disaster science - Angara PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 05 November 2010 16:07

Senator Edgardo J. Angara said that the establishment of the Disaster Management Training Center (DMTC) should be a national priority in order to better prepare the nation for the dealing with disasters like the devastating tsunami that hit Indonesia.

Angara, Chair of the Congressional Commission on Science Technology and Engineering (COMSTE), noted that the DMTC is envisioned to become a regional hub for disaster science where our scientists can help prepare officials and LGU's to handle natural calamities.

COMSTE has prioritized the creation of the DMTC for 2011, and is working with the Manila Observatory (MO) to finalize proposals for its foundation.

The center is set to become a training center that will focus on scenario-type learning utilizing technology for disaster mitigation and management. Taiwan and Japan are already actively cooperating with training of local experts.

The DSMC is set to be a public-private initiative that the scientific community can use to understand the mechanics of managing disasters with the cooperation of neighboring countries like Taiwan and Japan, who have experienced similar storms and natural calamities as the Philippines.

The Center would also incorporate initiatives such as a proposed Wave Alarm System, which would monitor wave energy and give advance warning for potential incoming tsunamis and the use of National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) satellite imagery from their Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS). The information is free and accessible due to the recent purchase by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) of a MODIS receiver.

The DSMC is set to be a public-private initiative that the scientific community can use to better understand the mechanics of managing disasters with the cooperation of neighboring countries that have experienced similar storms and natural calamities as the Philippines.

Angara said that, "we need to adopt a pro-active approach in order to properly address this problem. A scientific approach supported by extensive research has already led me to appropriate PHP 100M from the budget for the establishment of a Philippine Disaster Science Center, roughly PHP40M of which is allocated for a proposed Disaster Management Training Center."

Angara pointed out that a joint study by Columbia University and the World Bank entitled'Natural Disaster Hotspots: A Global Risk Analysis', which identifies countries which are at high risk for six major natural hazards: earthquakes, volcanoes, landslides, floods, drought, and cyclones, has the Philippines pegged as one of riskiest countries in the world.