The Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards (NOAH) Program was showcased as one of government’s exemplary achievements for disaster mitigation and preparedness in President Benigno Aquino III’s third year as chief executive.
In his fourth State of the Nation Address (SONA), Aquino said that NOAH Program is the fruit of government’s effort to minimize the casualties and damages of natural disasters in the Philippines.
“Regarding disaster preparedness: Our goal to develop mechanisms to protect our people from natural calamities: we have also achieved. Among these are the effective services brought about by the joint forces of the Geohazard Mapping and Assessment Program and Project NOAH of the DOST. This past year, we completed a multi-hazard mapping of the 28 most vulnerable locations in the country. A similar endeavor for the Greater Metro Manila Area will be completed by 2014. Geohazard maps for 496 cities and municipalities have also been completed. The remaining 1,138 covering every last corner of the country, will be finished before the end of 2015. Not only have these maps increased in number, they are also more detailed and refined, which is why we will be able to more accurately identify high risk areas,” Aquino said in Filipino, as he delivered his SONA at the the Session Hall of the House of Representatives, Batasan Pambansa Complex, Quezon City, on July 22, 2013.
“From the time Project NOAH was launched, a total of 525 automated water level monitoring stations and automated rain gauges have been installed in 18 major river basins throughout the country. We also continue to modernize our weather detection technology, with Doppler radar arrays, tsunami detectors, and alerting sirens,” Aquino added.
“But simply distributing high-tech equipment and new technology is not enough. We also need to train the end-users of this equipment in understanding, using, and disseminating the information gained. When the weather is bad, they no longer rely solely on wind speed for their forecasts; they can also predict the volume of rainfall, and they can provide the correct and timely warnings so our communities can prepare accordingly,” Aquino said.