The DOST- Advanced Science and Technology Institute (ASTI) conducted its pilot Information, Education, Communication (IEC) Campaign and flood drill last 12-16 September 2016 in the provinces of Leyte and Eastern Samar. This is part of the installation of weather monitoring stations and early warning systems under the Deployment of Early Warning Systems (DEWS) in Disaster-Prone Area Project.
In collaboration with the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), the five-day event included discussions on the introduction of DEWS Project, hydrometeorological hazards, nature of tropical cyclone, climate outlook for September 2016 until February 2017, and responsibility of the partner local government units for the installed flood early warning system.
“Since DOST focuses on disaster mitigation, we conduct an IEC to inform and encourage the community to participate in reducing the impact of the typhoon in their area. This will be done through orienting the communities on the devices and warning systems deployed in their area,” said Mr. Bismarck I. Soliba, Jr., Science Research Assistant from ASTI.
Participants of activity were introduced on the know-hows of weather monitoring stations and warning posts for them to understand the disaster risk reduction and mitigation program of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST). A flood drill was held afterwards to measure the community's preparedness in case of hydrometeorological disaster. The activity likewise allowed the community to be be familiar with emergency procedures in the event of such hazard.
Representatives from each DOST-Regional Offices (ROs) and local government units were oriented on warning post operations and station maintenance procedures.
Other speakers of the event are Engr. Roy Badilla, Mr. Mario Penaranda, Ms. Araya Mahilum, and Ms. Ger-An Duran from the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration. The activity was also attended by Hon. Leopoldo Dominic Petilla, Governor of Leyte, Engr. Edgardo Esperancilla, Director of DOST-RO VIII, Mr. Rufino Mengote, Assistant Director of DOST-RO VIII, Virgilio Capon, Provincial Eastern Samar Chief of Staff, Hon. Godofredo Garado, Mayor of Maydolong, and Dr. Ciriacio Agner, Jr., Disaster Risk Reduction Coordinator Sangguniang Bayan.
The DEWS Project is implemented in 2014 to mitigate rain-induced damages through a 24/7 monitoring of weather parameters and conditions thru installed weather monitoring stations and early warning systems nationwide. To date, there are a total of 1,726 stations installed in the country.