(President Benigno Aquino III delivers his fifth State of the Nation Address (SONA) at the Session Hall of the House of Representatives, Batasang Pambansa Complex, Quezon City, on July 28, 2014. Image from GMA News Online)
In his State of the Nation Address (SONA), President Benigno Aquino III credited the Disaster Risk and Exposure Assessment for Mitigation (DREAM) component of Project NOAH, for mapping and identifying flood-prone areas in the Philippines.
“Sa DREAM-LiDAR project sa ilalim ng Project NOAH, halimbawa, napapadali ang pagtukoy kung saan ang mga lugar na pinakababahain. Nakamapa na po ang 19 sa target nating 20 river systems para matukoy kung ano ang mga lugar na agad naaapektuhan tuwing bumubuhos ang ulan,” Aquino said, delivering his speech in Filipino.
Aquino said that with the high-resolution maps made by the DREAM Program, the communities can have more accurate visualization of the hazards in their area. This information can be used for disaster planning, and identifying the safe areas which can be used for evacuation.
“Dahil mas eksakto na ang pagtukoy natin kung kailan at saan tatama ang epekto ng bagyo, ngayon po, napapaaga ang paghahanda at pagbibigay-babala ng ating mga LGUs. Maaga na ring naililikas ang kanilang mamamayan,” Aquino said in his speech.
However, Aquino emphasized the importance of local government participation to effectively mitigate and prepare against disasters.
He commended Albay Governor Joey Salceda, whose disaster preparedness measures resulted to a zero-casualty outcome in Bicol when Typhoon Glenda hit on July 15.
“Sa Albay na hinagupit kamakailan lang ng bagyong Glenda, walang naitalang pumanaw dahil sa bagyo, salamat sa mabuting pamamahala ni Governor Joey Salceda. At kung kaya itong gawin ng isang probinsya na siya ngang parang natawag na nga pong highway ng mga bagyo, bakit naman tayo magdududa na kakayanin ng iba pang hindi highway ng bagyo?,” Aquino said.
Last year, Aquino also lauded Project NOAH as one of the government’s exemplary program on disaster mitigation.
Project NOAH was launched two years ago in Marikina City, under the national government’s directive to provide an early-warning system for communities, and create research and development initiatives to mitigate the impacts of future disasters.
For full transcript of the SONA 2014 speech, click here.