The Department of Science and Technology (DOST), in partnership with the Department of the Interior and Local Government and the Office of the Civil Defense, runs its fourth leg of the disaster preparedness information campaign dubbed as “Iba na ang Panahon! Science for Safer Communities” at the Romblon State University, Odiongan, Romblon on March 20 and 21.
The two-day event will provide the local chief executives and other provincial disaster risk reduction managers (PDRRM) with better understanding on the hazards in their own localities. It features 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.
Experts from the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Service Administration, Philippine Volcanology and Seismology Institute, and the Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards will discuss further the various hazards in each province down to the communities.
According to Science Secretary Mario G. Montejo, “Iba na ang Panahon! embraces the change in our seasonal climate and weather patterns and the severity of the impact of weather-related natural hazards in the country.”
The event will have workshops to provide familiarization on new disaster management tools and create scenario-building exercises for local executives such as governors and mayors and disaster risk reduction managers to develop area-specific disaster management protocols during a calamity.
According to Sec. Montejo, “Our objective is to increase the local risk knowledge of the local executives and the people in their communities, capacitate them to do an effective monitoring of a looming calamity, test their warning and communication protocols, and build their response capabilities.”
It is expected that by capacitating the local government to make better decisions in times of disasters through the help of cutting-edge technologies and efficient communication channels, the country can adopt to the devastating effects of climate change in the years to come.
“After these workshops, we expect local leaders and their communities to respond to our early warnings. As we have been doing, we will continue providing early warnings, and we expect the leaders to do early actions to attain zero, or only minimal, damage and casualties whenever a calamity hits their communities,” Montejo said.