A Coast Guard team conducts a rescue drill in Manila Bay as part of the disaster preparedness campaign during the rainy season.]

MANILA, JULY 9, 2012 (PHILSTAR) By Aurea Calica - President Aquino yesterday led the launching of Project NOAH – or Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards – aimed at stepping up efforts toward more intensive disaster risk reduction and management procedures during typhoons and calamities.

Marikina City, which was devastated by tropical storm “Ondoy” in 2009, was chosen as the venue for the launching of the project.

The President said no matter how unpredictable the weather, the government could not leave things to chance to ensure the safety of the people.

“In the past, whenever it is rainy season, we normally hear from Juan de la Cruz the lines bahala na si Batman, (It’s up to Batman). Handa akong makipagsapalaran (I am ready to take the risk) or ipagpasa-Diyos na lang natin ang lahat (Let’s just leave everything to God),” he said.

Aquino said Project NOAH, which includes rain gauges and flood monitoring systems, is not a miracle but a product of the cooperation among the Department of Science and Technology, Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs), Advanced Science and Technology Institute, Science and Technology Information Institute, Department of the Interior and Local Government, University of the Philippines-National Institute of Geological Sciences and Department, and other concerned agencies.

“You all prove that ‘hindi totoong ang buhay ay weather-weather lang (it’s not true that life is like the weather). It is in our hands whether the sun will shine for a better tomorrow and it is also up to us if we will remain in fear for life,” the President said.

[PHOTO -President Aquino logs in to the website of the Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration during the launching of the Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards (NOAH) project of the DOST in Barangay Nangka, Marikina City yesterday. WILLY PEREZ]

Based on records from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), the country gets hit by at least 20 typhoons a year.

The NDRRMC said flooding incidents from 2000 to 2011 affected some 1.7 million Filipino families and damaged P160 billion in properties and livelihood.

Aquino said when he assumed the presidency, there were only four locally assembled water level monitoring sensors in 2010 but nine had been added in 2011 and 12 more in 2012. At least 100 rain gauges were assembled last year and 86 had been deployed to different regions.

Since 2010, six Doppler radar stations were operational in Baguio, Subic, Tagaytay, Virac, Mactan, and Hinatuan. Three more Doppler radar stations would be put up in Tampakan, Aparri and Baler before the end of the year.

Using Project NOAH, PAGASA and Phivolcs would be able to provide a six-hour lead-time warning to vulnerable communities against impending floods and to use advanced technology to enhance current geo-hazard vulnerability maps.

Within two years, the NOAH program would provide high-resolution flood hazard maps and install 600 automated rain gauges and 400 water level measuring stations to 18 major river basins of the Philippines, namely; Marikina River Basin, Cagayan de Oro River Basin, Iligan River Basin, Agno River Basin, Pampanga River Basin, Bicol River Basin, Cagayan River Basin, Agusan River Basin, Panay River Basin, Magaswang Tubig River Basin, Jalaur River Basin, Ilog-Hilabangan River Basin, Agus River Basin, Davao River Basin, Mindanao River Basin, Tagum-Libuganon River Basin, Tagaloan River Basin, and the Buayan-Malungun River Basin.









(President Benigno S. Aquino III, assisted by Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr., former Akbayan Party List Representative Ana Theresia Hontiveros-Baraquel, Marikina City Mayor Del de Guzman, Science and Technology Secretary Mario Montejo, Project NOAH executive director Dr. Alfredo Mahar Lagmay and Marikina City 2nd District Representative Romero Federico Quimbo, presses the enter key to officially launched the Project NOAH (Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards) website in a ceremony at the Nangka DEL Covered Court, Balubad Settlement Phase II, Barangay Nangka, Marikina City Friday (July 06).

Project NOAH is an integrated response to the call of the President for quicker, more responsive disaster prevention, management and mitigation system in the advent of climate change.

It basically bundles all the technologies, resources and people of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) for disaster mitigation in one comprehensive program. It has three major components; local sensors technology development, a six hour flood warning system and the use of 3D mapping for charting hazard areas, and the use of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) to save lives and property. (Photo by: Robert Viñas / Gil Nartea / Malacañang Photo Bureau)




Written by Tribune - President Aquino’s third State of the Nation Address (Sona), earlier described as free from theatrics, may be seen as becoming numbing on the account of a continuously prolonged draft amid frequent insertions deemed significant by the President.

At a press briefing over dzRB radio, deputy presidential spokesman Abigail Valte yesterday said she has personally seen the “lengthy” draft.

The Palace official added that until the eve of the President’s scheduled Sona, the draft would be subjected to a continuing revision by the President himself.

Valte revealed that Aquino has been often seen making insertions of matters he deemed equally important and deserve to be made part of the Sona.

“I just saw the fourth draft of the Sona that was submitted to the President. So that’s already the fourth draft.

We will see a lot of movements, a lot changes in the way that the President does his Sona in the next weeks. Just to give you an idea, the President… it’s a constant evolution.


Whenever he sees something from his daily work that he feels that should be included, he makes sure that thing is included. So constantly, it would change.

He would call on his speechwriters, discuss his views, give them his thoughts… it’s just a matter of really taking down what the President is saying and also reordering. There’s a lot of reordering that is ongoing but the entire team is closely working with the President on what he wants the final Sona draft to be,” Valte stressed.

The President, the Palace official added, might be using an audio visual screen in trying to explain his Sona.

“That will also depend on the President. We are preparing some but we are not certain it would be approved by the President. Or he may want another form of audio visual presentation in lieu of what we have prepared. Again — pardon me, I keep saying it over and over again, but it is a constant work in progress,” she added.

Valte, however, would not say whether Aquino would be delivering his Sona in English or Filipino or a combination of both.

“The President picks the language depending on the audience and depending on what he wants to say,” she added.

Asked how long the Sona would take, Valte said “It’s rather lengthy... let’s leave it at 30-plus pages.”

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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