UP formally unveils Resilience Institute with NOAH as core component

By: LCCAD Media Presence

MANILA, Philippines, June 20 — The University of the Philippines Resilience Institute (UP-RI) was formally re-launched Tuesday (June 20, 2017) at the Bahay ng Alumni, the UP Diliman campus in Quezon City, highlighting the integration of National Operational Assessment of Hazards (NOAH) as its core component. The event was participated in and is actively supported by the Local climate Change Adaptation for Development (LCCAD) led by Executive Director Nong C. Rangasa and the 2nd Congressional Office headed by UN First Senior Global Champion for Climate Change Adaptation/Disaster Risk & Vulnerability Reduction, Philippine Green Economist, Rep. Joey Sarte Salceda.

The launch was spearheaded by UP President Danny Concepcion together with UP-RI Executive Director Alfredo Mahar Francisco A. Lagmay and was also graced by Senate Climate Change Committee chair and United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction UNISDR Global Champion for Resilience, Senator Loren Legarda.

(L-R) Professor Leonilo Doloricon of the UP College of Fine Arts presenting the UP RI Artwork of Commitment to UP President Danilo Concepcion, UP RI Executive Director Mahar Lagmay, and guests of honor Senator Loren Legarda & Congressman Joey Salceda. Photo: BA Racoma.

 

Salceda said in his speech “Kung dati po, kahit nakikita naming sa satellite na merong paparating na isang hazard, subalit sa ngayon sa pamamagitan po ng NOAH, kami po ay nakapag tipid. Yon po siguro ang pinakamalaking kina ibahan. Kung dati na achieve naming ang zero casualty na hindi ganon ka-science based, ngayon sa gamit po ng syensiya, mas lalong nakatipid po ang probinsiya ng Albay….maliban po sa pagiging accessible sa lahat, at madali pong ituro sa ating ordinaryong tao pati na sa mga bgy tanod ay kaya po nilang gamitin ito upang mai ‘save’ nila ang sariling buhay. Sa dami po ng buhay na na save namin dun sa Albay…ang mga tao po ay nagkaroon ng tiwala sa gobyerno kaya po sabay sabay naming nagawa na maibaba ang aming poverty incidence at hindi po magagawa yan kung hindi po hahabulin ang zero casualty. Sana po ang ating UP-RI at ang NOAH Center na ibinubunsod nila ang zero casualty, maging isang haligi po sa ating lipunan. Para sa akin po, napaka importante po na ang ating UP-RI at NOAH Center ay klaro sa kanilang gusting gawin at yon po ay ang zero casualty during time of disasters dahil ang meaning naman po talaga ng resilience is the strategy so that development can proceed amidst all the risks.”

Likewise, in her inspiring and assuring speech, Senator Legarda said “I have committed to help the UP Resilience Institute to equip you not just for the building, not just with the equipment, not just with the personnel needed but most important- to be able to connect you with all our agencies of the government so that all of the studies, maps and everything that they’ve done in all these years should be given to you, lent to you, made accessible to you so that with your information, you will be able to do not just early warning but actually project the impact of natural hazards on our local, rural, vulnerable populace.”

For his part, Lagmay revealed and pointed out “ang disaster data at impormasyon ay dapat libre, accessible sa lahat. Ito po ang tinatawag na ‘open data.’ Pag sinabi mong open data ay dapat open data. Ito po ay kinakailangan sa panahon ng emergencies, data should be accessible at libre. Aanhin po ang datos at impormasyon kung hindi ito aabot sa tao kung kalian ito kinakailangan?”

UP RI Executive Director Mahar Lagmay underlines that disaster data should be free and open to the public, especially during emergencies. Photo: Narod Eco.

 

LCCAD Executive Director Nong C. Rangasa, a staunch exponent of the Resilience Institute, said that the UP-RI is an inclusive multi-disciplinary approach by the university system to produce effective and efficient capacity building programs which are essential in forming sustainable development plans that will benefit all Filipinos, especially the poor and other marginalized and vulnerable sectors. Rangasa said he agrees with Lagmay and the UP RI’s belief that the long-term solution to our country’s disaster problems will be best achieved through the collaborative competent contributions of not only Science and Technology, but Arts and Humanities as well.

The LCCAD, which is a prime-mover in the 2017 Leagues of Municipalities/Cities of the Philippines (LMP/LCP) national roll-out training-workshops on the formulation of Local Climate Change Action Plan (LCCAP)/Barangay Contingency & Recovery Plan (BCRP) that has so far trained more than 500 out of 1,700 LGUS in the Philippines, partners with Lagmay who vowed that progressive scientific research, with the full utilization of state-of-the-art equipment and technology, by the UP RI will ensure accurate, reliable, understandable and timely data that is open and free to the public at all times, also through the website and android application.

“Empowered communities, which constantly remained as the fundamental and uncompromised goal of NOAH, proved to be instrumental in averting more than 15 potentially fatal calamities since 2012,” Lagmay said.

In response to LCCAD’s advocacy for a science & risk-based approach, a well-developed LCCAP and risk assessment to enhance Comprehensive Land Use & Development Plan (CLUDP), Lagmay underscored the role of UP RI lead in mapping out blueprints for Local Government Units (LGUs) on implementing genuine progress as they address and overcome the challenges of future catastrophes.

For the past 5 years, NOAH has cultivated competence thus excellence by training science experts yielding dependable comprehensive output and appropriately disseminating probabilistic multi-scenario-based multi-hazard maps. Along with this, the LCCAD has also vigorously been strengthening LGUs foundations through LCCAP/BCRP trainings.

“Such maps for disaster risk assessment are required in the Philippine Development Plan 2017 – 2022 and are important for unhampered and lasting growth,” Lagmay explained.

The UP NOAH Center under the UP RI will intensify its function to robustly make available and offer comprehensive reports necessary for the country’s 144 cities and 1,490 municipalities and 81 provinces in accordingly responding to various calamities and facilitate proper vulnerability management in their respective area of jurisdiction. According to the World Bank Report of 2016, the Philippines ranked third among the 171 countries with the highest levels of disaster risks. As a response, the UP Board of Regents (BOR), during its 1319th Meeting on 28th July, 2016, established the UP RI through Memorandum No. PAEP 16-67. Consequently, NOAH was adopted by the UP during the BOR’s 1325 Meeting on 23 February 2017 and established as a center through Executive Order No. PDLC 17-03 on 21 March 2017.

 

Copies of UP RI and NOAH Center Launch press kit materials

 

 

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