On 9 June 2015, the eBayanihan project was launched in the Ateneo De Manila University. It is headed by Dr. Reena Estuar, Director of the Ateneo Java Wireless Competency Center (AJWCC) and Professor in Ateneo De Manila’s School of Science and Engineering. According to Dr. Estuar, the eBayanihan project was developed to provide a web-mobile disaster management system that captures the human dimension of disasters. The system utilizes the concept of crowdsourcing and its numerous features focus on disaster response and preparedness. It is an ICT tool that can be used for the rapid mobilization of volunteers and real-time reporting of information.
It is accessible online through ebayanihan.ateneo.edu where users can register and access the features of the project. It is also available on Apple’s App Store and Google Play for smartphone users. SMS users can also register to the system by texting REG [SPACE] [COMMA] [SPACE] <City/Municipality> and sending it to 29290911. To report an incident on eBayanihan, you can text the following to the same number: POST [SPACE] [COMMA] [COMMA] [SPACE] <City/Municipality> [COMMA] <details of the incident (ex. hanggang tuhod)>.
Through the system, registered users can post information about incidents which others can act upon through contacting responders or other measures. Other features include viewing social media platforms like Twitter to get an overview of events related to a certain situation like a typhoon. Data visualization can also be accessed by users who want a geographic overview of the different reports that is posted in the system. It can also be used by communities for emergency preparedness by creating a community profile which contains critical information for responders and authorities. The system can also analyze and visualize these reports and data for users through a feature in the website and mobile application.
It is a project of the Ateneo Social Computing Science Laboratory and funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST). Its partners include the Office of Civil Defense (OCD), the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), the National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC), and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
Another partner is DOST Project NOAH. One of Dr. Estuar’s earliest collaborations with NOAH was the development of the Flood Report mobile application which is available for free on Google Play for Android smartphones and in the Windows store for Microsoft OS phones. It is a crowdsourcing application where users can report flood heights in real time when there is heavy flooding in their area. This greatly aids in the validation of the NOAH flood hazard maps as well as provide critical information during response situations. It was immediately tested during the Habagat season of 2012 when heavy rainfall from monsoon rains inundated Metro Manila and other parts of the country. In a way, Dr. Estuar mentioned, the Flood Report application was one of the inspirations for the project. Likewise, eBayanihan further utilizes the data from Flood Patrol by including it in the different platforms as a layer in the interactive map. In the future, NOAH’s high-resolution hazard maps for floods, landslides and storm surges will also be available in the eBayanihan project.