DOST-PHIVOLCS Conducts Training on the Use of GeoRiskPH Platforms for the City of Ormoc, Leyte
January 17, 2023
by: Elynrae Soriano & Jonard Acid
A training on the use of GeoRiskPH platforms for the City of Ormoc, Leyte was conducted by the Department of Science and Technology - Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (DOST-PHIVOLCS) last January 17-18, 2023 via Zoom Conference Meeting. It was attended by over 36 participants coming from Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Public Works and Highway (DPWH), and Ormoc Local Government Units (LGUs), such as City General Services Office, City Agriculture Office, City Social Welfare and Development Office, City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office, Tourism Office, City Planning and Development Department, City Environment and Natural Resources Office, Business Permit and Licensing Office, City Assessor’s Office, Waterworks System Administration, Office of the City Architect, City Youth Development Office, City Energy Office, ICRR Risk Solutions, Integrated Population and Gender Development Office, Health Department, and Liga ng Mga Barangay – Ormoc City Chapter. This capacity-building program aims to assist the participants to effectively understand and use the GeoMapperPH in building their exposure geodatabase, and other GeoRiskPH platforms as tools for a more efficient hazards and risk assessment, data collection, data sharing, and analysis in support of data-informed planning and decision-making. GeoMapperPH is an application designed for easy collection of hazard, exposure, vulnerability, and coping capacity data of government agencies and local government units. All data gathered from the application will be directed to the GeoRiskPH system, which can be accessed, utilized, and updated later on. The first day of workshop commenced with opening remarks from Mr. Ciriaco E. Tolibao II, MPM, City DRRM Officer of Ormoc City DRRM Office and Dr. Teresito C. Bacolcol, Director of DOST-PHIVOLCS. Mr. Tolibao II, expressed his gratitude for this initiative and emphasized the relevance of this training in the updating of local disaster risk reduction management plan and risk analysis of their city. At the same time, Dr. Bacolcol encouraged participants to maximize this training and to utilize GeoRiskPH platforms to better prepare for natural calamities. The messages were followed by an introduction to GeoRisk Philippines Initiative and GeoRiskPH platforms (i.e., GeoMapperPH, Hazard HunterPH, and GeoAnalyticsPH). How to sign-in and use the GeoMapperPH web and mobile applications were also presented through a series of demonstrations and hands-on activities to familiarize participants with the apps’ tools and capabilities. The hands-on exercises allowed participants to explore how to create and edit polygons when digitizing building footprints and assess the nearest active fault and health facility in their location. Philippine building typologies were discussed as well for efficient building of exposure databases. The training program continued the following day with a lecture on how to utilize GeoMapperPH data management and an orientation on how to use GeoRiskPH web services in a Geographic Information System (GIS) software, specifically QGIS and ArcGIS. A design thinking activity was also conducted thereafter to assist in producing more stake-holder sensitive products and services. One of the suggestions proposed by the participants in the activity was to conduct face-to-face training. Additionally, Ormoc LGUs will schedule a post-training meeting to assess all the information acquired from the workshop. The 2-day virtual training successfully concluded with closing messages from Ms. Mabelline T. Cahulogan, Supervising Science Research Specialist at DOST-PHIVOLCS and Ms. Fatima Leira T. Ebcas from Ormoc CDRRMO. In her speech, Ms. Cahulogan thanked the participants for their eagerness to learn and utilize the GeoRiskPH platforms. She is also hopeful that they will leverage on the GeoRiskPH platforms including its data and populate their exposure database after the training. Moreover, Ms. Ebcas commended the ease of use and accessibility of the GeoRiskPH applications. According to her, these attributes are beneficial in their updating of DRRM plans and generating a centralized data platform. She conveyed as well the hopes of her co-participants for the sustainability of GeoRiskPH products and their interest in joining succeeding roll-out sessions conducted by DOST-PHIVOLCS, including PlanSmart and REDAS. Lastly, through this partnership, Ormoc LGU account and real time database dashboard have been created for hazard mapping and other LGU planning purposes. The institute hopes to collaborate with more LGUs hereafter to assist in strengthening Disaster Risk Reduction Management Plans for a safer and more resilient community.