Tuesday 25th of March 2014

ILOILO CITY, March 25 (PIA6) – – The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) on Monday called on local chief executives and disaster managers in this part of the country to develop the capacity to understand and use science and technology in making their communities safer and more prepared for disasters.

“In our communities, you the local chief executives and disaster managers serve as the first receivers of information and warnings and act as first responders during calamities. It is therefore, imperative that you develop that capacity to understand and translate these science based information and warnings into response strategies, policies and actions within your local area of responsibility,” said DOST Secretary Mario Montejo.

Montejo who is also the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council Vice-Chair for Prevention and Mitigation said that while the occurrence of natural hazards cannot be prevented but potential disaster risk in communities can be mitigated.

In his message during the opening ceremonies of a conference workshop being conducted by the department here in Iloilo City until March 26, Montejo highlighted that use of science to better understand and improve disaster planning and preparations at the national and local levels.

“Applying science, we can draw up scenario-based strategies and protocols in dealing with calamities: from emphasizing early warning and early action to achieve minimum loss that can then lead to quick recovery,” said Montejo.

The two-day conference workshop participated in by almost 300 local chief executives and DRRMOs, heads and representatives of national government agencies and other stakeholders in Western Visayas is part of the launching activity of DOST’s ‘Iba na ang Panahon: Science for Safer Communities’ program in the region.

Montejo said ‘Iba na ang Panahon’ embraces the change in seasonal climate and weather patterns as well as the severity of the impact of weather-related natural hazards in the country.

It will also highlight the availability of new tools such as the latest high-resolution maps, flood modeling solutions and advanced weather forecasting tools, among others, to allow scientists to study hazards and bring better forecast warnings down to communities.

The workshop will also include presentations on local geologic hazards and warning systems and hydrometeorological and geological hazards in the region.

There will be also workshops that will allow provincial and municipal chief executives to better understand their communities and the risks present therein.

In Western Visayas, DOST has teamed up with the regional offices of Office of Civil Defense, Department of the Interior and Local Government and Philippine Information Agency in implementing the ‘Iba na ang Panahon: Science for Safer Communities’ program. (JCM/LAF/PIA6)

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