By Rainier Allan Ronda (The Philippine Star) | Updated December 19, 2013 – 12:00am
MANILA, Philippines – The Disaster Risk and Exposure Assessment for Mitigation (DREAM) program component of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST)’s Project NOAH is getting P2.4 billion for its two-year extension next year up to 2016 as well as its expansion.
Rowena Guevarra, executive director of the DOST’s Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development, said that of the P2.4-billion fund, P1.5 billion will go to the program proper, while P900 million will go to resource assessment.
With the extension, the DREAM project is expected to come up with a comprehensive and integrated flood early warning system covering the entire country by the end of the program’s extension up to 2016.
The project was originally funded for two years starting from its launch in 2012.
So far, the DREAM effort has finished scanning 17 of the targeted 18 critical river basins in the country through the LIDAR (light detection and ranging) system, a state-of-the-art technology that can generate high-resolution, up-to-date, three dimensional flood hazard maps.
The DREAM team has already produced LIDAR-based flood models for Iponan, Mandulog, Iligan, Pampanga, Davao Oriental, Marikina, Cagayan de Oro, and Compostela Valley.
The rest of the flood models are to be completed by June 2014 when the original first phase of the program is set to end.
Data gathered under the DREAM program is also included in the Project NOAH (Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards) website.
The DREAM entailed the procurement of two aircraft to carry the LIDAR instruments for the aerial inspections of the river basins.
The second phase of DREAM made possible by the extension will aim to double the number of equipment being used to be more efficient in data gathering, Guevarra said.
The DREAM project, in the second phase, tapped the help of 30 to 50 state universities and colleges offering geodetic engineering and computer science courses to address the manpower requirements of the program.