DOST-PHIVOLCS Conducts Training on the Use of GeoRiskPH Platforms for Cordillera Administrative Region

May 8, 2023

by: Elynrae Soriano

Because two are better than one, the DOST-PHIVOLCS, in collaboration with the DOST-CAR, conducted not one, but two batches of Training on the Use of GeoRiskPH Platforms for the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) on May 08-09 and 11-12, 2023 at Chalet Baguio Hotel, Upper Military Cut-off Road in Baguio City. The back-to-back event had the opportunity to cater to 90 DRRMOs, data managers, planning officers, and other technical staff/employees. Forty of which are coming from Abra, Apayao, and Kalinga, and 50 from Benguet, Ifugao, and Mt. Province, with support from DOST-CAR Regional Director, Dr. Nancy A. Bantog and DOST-PHIVOLCS Director, Dr. Teresito C. Bacolcol. Dir. Bantog has been an advocate of such initiatives and efforts, believing that "most LGUs are now ready to transition and make their risk assessment, early warning systems, and entire DRRM processes smart through digital transformation, technologies, and innovations." One method she has confidence in is to maximize avenues that can increase disaster prevention and risk reduction, such as those offered by the GeoRiskPH Initiative. She also emphasized the need for transition because of the high quality of data it can process. According to her, "data is not just gold, it could be more precious like [than] diamonds" since it aids various levels by transforming their planning and decision-making into ones that are supported by facts, figures, and projections. Apart from being ready, Dir. Bacolcol also urged participants to make the best use of GeoRiskPH products and services, adding that "it is everyone's collective duty to prepare" for disasters and that just because hazards are unavoidable does not imply there is nothing that can be done to mitigate and eliminate their effects. Responding to this call, participants were engaged in all of the activities planned throughout the 2-day learning activity. The program centered on lectures, demonstrations, and hands-on activities on GeoMapperPH, HazardHunterPH, GeoAnalyticsPH, and PlanSmart Ready to Rebuild, where they learned faster and more efficient methods of updating their local pre-disaster baseline data, building local exposure databases, assessing hazards, and formulating rehabilitation and recovery frameworks - all of which contribute to their respective communities' disaster resilience. Through this training, the rollout of GeoRiskPH platforms across the region was initiated, and representatives from LGUs of CAR were able to receive their accounts in the GeoMapperPH and real-time database dashboards for mapping and other LGU planning purposes. From this point forward, the agency will implement MOA at the provincial level, including municipal if requested, as well as conduct provincial-level training across the area and continue to assist the DOST-CAR, OCD-CAR, PDRRMOs, and MDRRMOs in facilitating data collection and sharing in their region.