From resilience emerges Filipino-designed app | Inquirer News
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From resilience emerges Filipino-designed app

By: - Correspondent / @amacatunoINQ
/ 12:01 AM June 12, 2014

OLONGAPO CITY, Philippines—Drawing inspiration from Filipino resilience during calamities, a team of information technology (IT) experts here has developed a mobile application that was cited in an international competition for innovations to address global disaster resilience challenges.

But more than aiming for the grand prize in World Bank’s “Code For Resilience Online Innovation Challenge,” the four-member team behind the mobile application, called “iLigtas,” hoped that the innovative tool would save lives and property during a disaster.

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Erlinda Casela-Abarintos, dean of the College of Computer Studies of Gordon College here, said iLigtas is a cross-platform mobile application that aims to serve as a risk reduction management tool that could provide relevant information to government and nongovernment agencies.

Abarintos is part of the team that recently won a contest called “Readysaster: Hack for Resilience,” held last month in Makati City. The other members are Armilyn Martinez, Marc Anthony Reyman, and Jedidiah Niñonueva.

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The competition gathered teams of developers in the country to create apps for better disaster preparation and management.

‘Hackathon’

The contest, known as hackathon, was organized by Open Data Philippines in collaboration with Code for Resilience and the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR).

The Gordon College team’s app is among the 10 finalists from different countries. The team will have the chance to win a trip to London to join the “Understanding Risk Conference” from June 30 to July 4. Finalists were announced on May 23.

“It would be a good opportunity to represent the Philippines in this international contest and we will show the world how resilient Filipinos are when it comes to disasters,” Abarintos told the Inquirer.

She said the application featured three main components to help users get information and prepare for a disaster, ask for help and rescue during disasters and find ways to recover after a disaster.

Martinez, program coordinator for the Bachelor of Science in Information Technology at Gordon College, said the app’s three components were “iHanda,” “iTulong,” and “iBangon.”

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She said the iHanda component alerted users by displaying feeds about incoming disasters. The iTulong component, on the other hand, gives users access to medical aid, food and water, shelter, construction and rescue.

Two-way

Martinez said the iBangon component allowed users to easily understand infographics and analyze crowd-sourced data. It also allows users to share information with local governments and nongovernment organizations and other individuals to help those who are in need.

She said the team is still working on a fourth component that would make the application interactive and provide a two-way source of information and help users receive responses from concerned agencies in a timely manner.

Martinez said they are looking for private companies or government agencies that could provide financial assistance to help them develop the fourth component.

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