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Philippine Innovations for Disaster Resilience

Image credit: ncr.dost.gov.ph
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Using data and research on disaster response, rehabilitation, and recovery, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) aims to serve as a platform for communities and barangays. Also, it sought to promote cooperation between regional governments, private businesses, and other organisations in utilising cutting-edge Filipino-made innovations.

DOST Secretary Renato Solidum Jr. emphasised the vulnerabilities that the cities confront in a news release sent to OpenGov Asia. Unfortunately, decades of increased urbanisation and growth have made local governments more susceptible to climatic disasters. For cities to reach their full potential, he urged acknowledging their vulnerability and a lack of coping and adapting skills. He also emphasised the importance of creating healthy cities.

The public had the opportunity to see 86 ground-breaking technologies created and developed by Filipino researchers, engineers, and scientists during the recently held “Handa Pilipinas Expo 2023.”

One of them is Project SAFER, which was created by the Polytechnic University of the Philippines – Parañaque Campus and intends to assist two-way communication and emergency broadcast in disaster-prone areas.

Another is the GeoRisk Initiative Platform, an online tool created by DOST-PHIVOLCS and several governmental organisations that served as an official platform for exchanging and analysing data on hazards and the climate, gathering exposure information, and performing risk assessments. HazardHunterPH, a cutting-edge system that offers thorough site-specific reports on seismic, volcanic, and hydro-meteorological hazards, was also on display.

Additionally, the DOST-Metals Industry Research and Development Centre (MIRDC)’s Automatic Trash Rake provided a ground-breaking approach to preventing flooding brought on by an overabundance of trash in rivers. By effectively removing clogs in drainage systems and collecting large-scale trash along creeks, this fully automated technology improved flood control operations.

The DOST-Food Nutrition Research Institute (DOST-FNRI), on the other hand, addressed concerns about water security by introducing Iodine Rich Drinking Water (Tubig Talino) to fight Iodine Deficiency Disorders (IDD) among Filipinos. By combining this filtered or regular potable water with Water Plus 2, the goal is to increase iodine consumption and advance health.

The UNSINKABLE PORTA BOAT (UPB) and the Water Ambulance (UWA), which are meant to speed up urban rescue operations, were also on display at Handa Pilipinas Expo 2023. The Fire Trike, created by the Valenzuela Inventors Producers Society to stop fires from spreading on small lanes, and the Fire Blanket, two innovations for fire incidents in informal settlements, were displayed.

The DOST-Forest Products Research and Development Institute displayed a do-it-yourself bamboo shelter for families who have been impacted by calamities and disasters. The 90% renewable materials used to construct these 24 square metres semi-permanent shelters, which have access to electricity and water, make it environmentally friendly.

It is noteworthy that Filipino-made technology was also used to efficiently transmit scientific knowledge. The Muntinlupa City DRRM Mobile Learning Hub, The Kooha application from DOST-ASTI, the Augmented Reality Terrain-Flood Simulator with Kinetic Sand from DOST-PAGASA, and the Earthquake Simulator from DOST-PHIVOLCS are essential tools for raising public awareness of safety and preparing for disasters.

To develop smart, sustainable, and livable cities, Secretary Renato reiterated the significance of reinventing city organisation, design, planning, and construction. He emphasised the vulnerability of the Philippines to geological and hydrometeorological disasters, which led to terrible losses of life, property, and way of life. He was adamant that tragedies could be avoided, and that technology was essential for preserving lives and ensuring livelihoods.

With this, Secretary Renato furthered that digital technology plays a crucial role in disaster resilience by enhancing early warning systems, enabling real-time data collection and analysis, facilitating communication, and empowering communities to respond effectively and recover faster during and after disasters.

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SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

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HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

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IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.