By Suzette Dalumpines
S&T Media Service, DOST-STII
The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) – Project NOAH’s component called Disaster Risk and Exposure Assessment for Mitigation or DREAM Program will be extended in order to scan the whole country and produce three-dimensional (3D) flood hazard maps. Dr. Rowena Guevarra, executive director of the project’s funding agency, announced the extension during the recent DREAM Report to Stakeholders Meeting at the National Engineering Center-UP Diliman.
A pioneering and big-ticket program component of DOST’s Project NOAH (Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards), DREAM is being implemented by engineers from the UP Diliman and funded by the DOST-Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD).
The DREAM Project, extended from 2014 to 2016, is expected come up with a comprehensive and integrated flood early warning system (IFEWS) covering the entire country by the end of the program’s second leg in 2016.
“[M]ay part 2 po ang DREAM. Yun po yung sinasabi ni Asec. Raymund Liboro na sa 2014 hanggang 2016, tatapusin po nating yung two-thirds ng Philippines kasi one-third lang yung assignment nila Engr. Enrico Paringit sa DREAM 1,” said Dr. Guevarra. (DREAM has a Part 2. That is what Asec. Raymund Liboro was referring to when he said that by 2014-2016, we will complete two-thirds of the Philippines because only one-third was covered by Engr. Paringit in DREAM 1.)
Barely two years after its inception in December 2011, DREAM has scanned 17 of the targeted 18 critical river basins in the country through LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging), a state-of-the-art technology that can generate high-resolution, up-to-date, and three-dimensional (3D) flood hazard maps.
The DREAM team has already produced LiDAR-based flood models for Mandulog in Iligan City, Pampanga, Davao Oriental, Marikina, Cagayan de Oro, and Compostela Valley. The rest of flood models are to be completed by June 2014, the project’s original end date.
According to its program leader Engr. Enrico Paringit, DREAM currently has around 70 staff members, a number that still has to be augmented for the expansion.
To aid in the shortage of manpower, Dr. Guevarra said 30 to 50 state universities and colleges in the country offering geodetic engineering and computer science courses will be tapped to help implement the second leg of the program.
“Akala ng tao, pag may eroplano, pwede na. Kailangan po ng tao na magpa-process ng data. Pinakaimportante ang human resources dahil kung walang magpa-process ng data, wala rin,” she said. (People think that having airplanes alone solves the problem. We need people who will process the data. Human resources are the most important part of this project because without these people, this program won’t work. )
DREAM currently has only two aircrafts carrying LiDAR instruments, the Pegasus and the Aquarius. In its second leg, DREAM aims to double the number of equipment being used to be more efficient in data gathering, said. Dr. Guevarra.
Mado-doble na ang bilang ng mga eroplanong ginagamit natin. (The number of airplanes we’re using will be doubled). Work [for the program’s second phase] will start this last quarter of 2013.”