State-of-art weather, disaster info systems to cost PH P1.6B
MANILA, Philippines—President Benigno Aquino III has ordered the release of P1.6 billion to the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) to enable it to tap “state-of-the-art technology” and improve the accuracy of weather and disaster information-gathering and reporting in the country.
Budget Secretary Florencio B. Abad said the funds taken from government savings in 2011 would be used for the DOST’s nationwide Disaster Risk Exposure, Assessment and Mitigation (Dream) program.
“The Aquino administration is beefing up its capacity for disaster planning and response. Through the use of the latest technologies, the DOST under the leadership of Secretary Mario Montejo is beefing up its capacity to produce weather information, flood maps and other critical data accurately and rapidly,” Abad said.
Under the Dream program, the DOST will acquire geospatial data-gathering technologies, particularly the Light Intensity Detection and Ranging (Lidar) and Airborne Radar Interferometry systems.
Abad said these technologies would produce detailed topographic information that would result in relatively more accurate flood maps.
The DOST said the Lidar had proven to be more advantageous than other existing technologies because it had the capability of seeing through forest canopies. This feature also made it a critical tool for forestry applications and environmental monitoring.
The DOST said the vertical accuracy provided by this particular technology also made it an essential tool for producing rapid and accurate height data, a critical requirement in updating flood hazard maps.
Integrating the Lidar with an aerial camera maximizes its geospatial accuracy and information content capability for detailed data extraction, it said.
Abad said that aside from identifying flood-prone areas, inundation maps would also be useful in rescue and relief operations.
He said the information to be generated by the DOST project would respond to information requirements of development planning, natural resource and environment management, including forestry applications.
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