DOST-PHIVOLCS Conducts Training on the Use of GeoRiskPH Platforms for the Department of Agriculture
March 1, 2023
by: Elynrae Soriano
On March 1-2, 2023, a capacity-building program on the use of the GeoRiskPH platforms for the Department of Agriculture was conducted by the Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (DOST-PHIVOLCS) at the Savannah Resort Hotel in Angeles City, Pampanga. It was attended by 90 technical staff and representatives from the Department of Agriculture central and regional field offices, the Bureau of Agricultural and Fisheries Engineering (BAFE), the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI), the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), the Bureau of Soils and Water Management (BSWM), the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Agrarian Reform - Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (MAFAR-BARMM), the National Irrigation Administration (NIA), the National Tobacco Administration (NTA), the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA), the Philippine Fiber Industry Development Authority (PhilFIDA), and the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA). This training aims to assist local government units (LGUs) and national government agencies (NGAs) to effectively understand and use GeoMapperPH in building their exposure geodatabase and other GeoRiskPH platforms as tools for 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. The 2-day learning activity featured a series of demonstrations and practical applications on digitizing building footprints and managing databases using GeoMapperPH web and mobile apps. Additionally, lectures on GeoRisk Philippines Initiative, GeoRiskPH Web Services in QGIS/ArcMap, HazardHunterPH, GeoAnalyticsPH, PlanSmartPH Ready to Rebuild Program, Evolution of the Filipino Homes, and Earthquake and Volcanic Hazards were covered as supplemental learnings to demonstrate how to populate exposure database more efficiently and to emphasize the significance of doing so. These orientations were facilitated by eight coaches from DOST-PHIVOLCS, namely, Ms. Mabelline T. Cahulogan, Mr. John Harold B. Tabuzo, Mr. Conrad Alfonso M. Favis, Ms. Ynna Patricia M. Aquino, Mr. Nicole Jean L. Mercado, Ms. Trisha Marie D. Morado, Ms. Marjoleen M. Belviz, and Mr. Jonard Jhon S. Acid. A design thinking activity was also conducted wherein the participants commended the applications' accessibility and helpfulness in disaster-mitigation. They also proposed additional features and custom templates for the application to meet their agency's needs, including: glossary of terms, search engines, weather and historical data, and maps on commodity, crop-suitability, soil-fertility, etc. By the end of the workshop, offices under the Department of Agriculture were given LGU accounts and real-time database dashboards for hazard mapping and other LGU planning purposes. In closing, the institute strives to collaborate with more agricultural sectors hereafter since the Philippines is primarily an agricultural country and as such, many farms, crops, and livelihoods will be at stake when natural catastrophes strike the nation.