DOST's Science Week to prepare every Juan for natural disasters

By Rodolfo P. de Guzman
S&T Media Service, DOST-STII


Disaster preparedness is every Juan's concern because natural hazards know no boundaries. Each and every one of us may be vulnerable to floods, earthquakes or storm surge.

So the question is, how prepared are we?

This coming July 25-29, 2016, the Quezon City Science Community of the Department of Science and Technology has lined up several activities in conjunction with the celebration of the National Science and Technology Week 2016 with this year's theme: "Juan Science, One Nation."

Because every Juan of us must be aware of the different hazards and know how to mitigate its negative effects, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), together with the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) and the Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (PNRI), is holding a disaster summit where topics on multi-hazards and disaster preparedness will be discussed. PAGASA, PHIVOLCS, and PNRI are all agencies of DOST.

The event, dubbed Disaster Summit: How Prepared Are We? is scheduled on July 27, 2016 from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm to be held at the PHIVOLCS Auditorium, C.P. Garcia Avenue, UP Diliman, Quezon City. The newly appointed DOST Secretary Fortunato T. de la Pena will welcome the participants and give his message on the importance of disaster preparedness using science-based knowledge products and tools.

The morning session will start with a talk about the end-to-end multi-hazards warning systems and risk reduction for geological hazards by Dr. Renato U. Solidum, Jr., PHIVOLCS director. The different geological hazards are earthquake, tsunami, earthquake-induced landslides, and volcanic eruptions among others.

Dr. Landrico U. Dalida, Jr., acting deputy administrator of PAGASA, will discuss hydrometeorological hazards with the early warning systems being used by the agency like the flood early warning system, the new storm signal warning system, and the storm surge alert system.

On the other hand, Teofilo Y. Garcia, head of the Health Physics Research Section, Atomic Research Division of PNRI will talk about radiation monitoring for emergency preparedness and response.

For the afternoon session, there will be several presentations by other stakeholders such as the departments of the interior and local government, and social welfare and development; and the Office of Civil Defense in terms of disaster preparedness, response and rehabilitation. Meanwhile, Dr. Regina Justina Estuar, research director of the Ateneo Java Wireless Competency Center, will talk about an innovative program called the E-Bayanihan.

Aside from the Quezon City Science Community, Manila, Bicutan, and Los Banos Science Communities, as well as the different DOST regional offices, will have simultaneous NSTW celebrations as well with their own line up of activities.

For more details, interested parties may contact Venus Valdemoro, OIC of the public affairs unit of PAGASA at telephone numbers (02) 434-2696, (02) 927-9308 and mobile number (+63)947-5727800 or email vr_valdemoro@yahoo.com and venusvaldemoro.ph@gmail.com. For other events of the NSTW 2016, please log on to nstw.dost.gov.ph or email at 2016nstw@gmail.com and call telephone number (02) 837-2191 to 94.

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