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GeoRiskPH Advances Disaster Risk Capabilities in the Philippines

In the aftermath of the recent earthquakes in Northern Luzon, the Ilocos region is strengthening its capacities to plan for and respond to geological risks in conjunction with the Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (DOST-PHIVOLCS).

GeoRiskPH was presented by Mabelline T. Cahulogan, Supervising Science Research Specialist, as a digital tool for disaster managers and local government units (LGUs). GeoRiskPH is a multi-agency programme led by the government to act as a central knowledge repository on natural hazards and risk assessment.

GeoRiskPH attempts to determine and assess regions in the country that are safe, vulnerable, or prone to geological hazards like as ground fracture, liquefaction, tsunami, and flooding, in accordance with safety measures against geological hazards.

The digital instrument HazardHunterPH is one of the products offered by GeoRiskPH. Indicative hazard assessment reports can be generated for a user-specified place using this tool. In addition, it contains a climate projection from the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), which includes rainfall estimates, temperature, and other data.

PlanSmart, Ready to Rebuild, which can generate a planning document in a matter of minutes as opposed to weeks or months, was also presented and is useful for the LGUs to construct their rehabilitation and recovery plans.

In addition, PlanSmart, Set to Rebuild incorporates the capabilities of GeoRiskPH’s platforms such as GeoMapperPh, GeoAnalyticsPH, HazardHunterPH, and the Disaster Rehabilitation and Recovery Planning Guide Workbook.

Further, a former DOST Balik Scientist with a specialisation in animal science is assisting the Pangasinan Municipality of Balungao through the Innovation, Science and Technology for Accelerated Regional Technology-Based Development, or iSTART Programme.

This effort, which is being implemented by DOST Region I, is an outgrowth of research undertaken by the UP School of Urban and Regional Planning in collaboration with the Planning and Development Research Foundation, Inc. (PLANADES) that identified the top 20 growth regions in the Philippines. Pangasinan Province was one of them for Region I, with a high potential for goat production.

The iSTART Programme Management Team believes in the vision of the local officials who are motivated and passionate about this project from the beginning, so they hired a well-known consultant in Animal Science, Dr Jovita Datuin, who has been assisting the municipality with this project.

Local officials anticipated that the goat industry would be a possible sector for economic growth in the town, which led to the creation of the Goat Academy, which will provide various services linked to goat production, such as the production of multiple commodities and high-quality goat breeds. The academy is also intended to be a training facility for upscaling chevon (goat flesh) items.

The iSTART programme will include technology-based interventions for goat production management, such as various technologies, goods, and procedures that make goat production more profitable, as well as numerous goat training programmes that will eventually be included.

On the other hand, LGU officials want to focus on the treatment of the municipality’s high sulfuric content in its water resources, which can endanger people’s health as well as other natural resources such as agricultural crops and animals.

The iSTART initiative is dedicated to LGUs in addressing community problems and continuing to deliver research, technology, and innovation in the locality for sustainable development through the scientific and technological interventions given.

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