DOST Secretary Mario Montejo with Smart CEO and President Napoleon Nazareno (left) and Sun Cellular CEO and President Orlando Vea (right).



The Department of Science and Technology will work together with Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) and Sun Cellular to improve the communication system in the DOST-developed disaster preparedness system in the country.


The collaboration will be formalized in the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on March 16, 2012 at the Makati Shangri-La Hotel to be led by DOST Secretary Mario G. Montejo, Smart President and CEO Napoleon L. Nazareno, and Sun Cellular President and CEO Orlando B. Vea.


In the MOU, DOST, Smart and Sun commit to collaborate in helping the public access information from the DOST’s monitoring system installed in key points across the country. The three partners have agreed to share their core competencies to help reduce the risks of vulnerable communities from rain-triggered hazards.


"DOST's collaboration with Smart and Sun demonstrates the effectiveness of public-private partnerships in addressing issues of common concern such as disaster preparedness," Secretary Montejo said. "We need to do this to make our people and their properties safe."


DOST is implementing a two-year river basin approach project called the National Operational Assessment of Hazards Program, involving 18 major rivers basins in the country. The program is designed to set up a more responsive disaster preparedness system to reduce, if not eliminate, human casualties from rain- triggered natural hazards.


For the program, DOST will design systems, including the deployment of sensors, to improve flood monitoring and mitigation. These instruments will be installed in the cell sites of Smart and Sun located in key areas within the 18 target river basins.


Smart and Sun also committed to design and implement communications solutions for the early warning, feedback and reporting requirements of DOST’s program. The three partners also committed to share data and other information derived from the said program.


DOST’s NOAH aims to respond to the urgent need for a reliable flood warning system in all major river systems and watersheds in the country. It has seven major components, including Disaster Risk Exposure (DREAM), Assessment and Mitigation, FLOODNET, Sensors Development and Weather Media.


The program was launched recently after President Benigno Aquino III issued directives to concerned government agencies to step up national efforts toward greater and more intensive disaster risk reduction and management procedures in the wake of Typhoon Sendong. (Allan Mauro Marfal, S&T Media Service)


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