BY KD SUAREZ (Rappler.com)
POSTED ON 07/24/2013 11:39 AM | UPDATED 07/25/2013 9:19 AM
MANILA, Philippines – A Filipino-made tablet computer specially built for disaster preparedness is one of the “smart” technologies highlighted at the 2013 National Science & Technology Week (NSTW) this week.
The Mobile Operational System for Emergency Services, or MOSES, an 8-inch tablet computer designed for use by government officials and disaster response personnel, was unveiled on the first day of the NSTW.
The tablet is locally designed and produced, and is meant for use by officials to monitor and plan for upcoming natural calamities.
Information flow is two-way: It can receive real-time weather, flood, and disaster information from the state weather bureau PAGASA and from the National Operational Assessment of Hazards (Project NOAH), through pre-installed applications. Users, on the other hand, can provide data and images of their location, particularly during calamities, such as floods and landslides.
Data from the field are collected by the project’s command center, and will be mapped to give an accurate view of the situation on the ground. The information will also be used for warnings and alerts during disasters.
“The bottom line message of MOSES is that there should be two-way communication in the disaster communication process,” said Dr Mahar Lagmay, head of Project NOAH, which handles the MOSES project.
MOSES was designed to have two SIM cards, a TV and radio function, and has a battery that can last up to 3 days.
Lagmay said the DOST plans to supply all barangays nationwide with one MOSES tablet each.
“Kailangan po hindi lang iyong gobyerno ang nagsasabi sa mga tao kung ano iyong impormasyon na dapat nilang malaman; dapat po malaman natin kung ano ang nangyayari sa field, kung saan tinatamaan iyong mga tao ng panganib,” Lagmay said. (It shouldn’t be that only the government gives information to the people; the government also needs to get information from those on the field where disaster strikes.)
“Iyon po ang gagamitin ng gobyerno para mas maganda ang basehan ng mga desisyon,” he said. (The information will be used by government for a better decision-making process.)
A total of 1,000 will be manufactured for the first batch; 150 barangays in the National Capital Region (NCR) will be pilot areas, the DOST said.
“We’re using the best technology, cutting-edge science, research and development, and integrating it with government efforts to address our huge disaster problem,” Lagmay added.
‘Expo Science 2013’
The MOSES tablet is only one of numerous projects and products that are on display to showcase “smarter” science and technology by Filipinos, for Filipinos at the NSTW.
The main event this year has been dubbed “Expo Science 2013,” with exhibits highlighting how science can be useful in Filipinos’ daily lives, Science Secretary Mario Montejo said.
This year’s celebration is anchored on the Smarter Philippines initiative of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), the agency’s trademark program for the next 5 years that will focus on home-grown technology.
The DOST initiative, launched last February, covers disaster risk reduction, health, agriculture, transportation, government services, and information & communications technology, with the end goal of providing reliable and efficient services to the Filipino public.
Many of the DOST’s projects are on display at the NSTW, including the National Operational Assessment of Hazards (NOAH), the Advanced Device and Materials Testing Laboratory (ADMATEL), and the Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP).
Other major projects also on display include the Automated Guideway Transit (AGT), the DOSTv channel, the Integrated Government Philippines (iGovPhil) initiative, and its various science and technology scholarship programs.
Exhibits of products and projects, from the academe, government, and the private sector from across the country, are currently on exhibit at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City.
Conferences, workshops, and forums on a range of topics, from disaster communications to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) development to robotics, are also scheduled within the week.
Montejo said this year’s NSTW also highlights the importance being placed on science and technology by the current administration.
The yearly event was formally opened Tuesday, July 23, and will continue until Saturday, July 27. DOST’s regional offices and agencies also have activities lined up in their respective areas. More information on these can be found at the NSTW website, http://nstw.dost.gov.ph. – Rappler.com