UP allots P40 M for NOAH project (Philstar)

By Janvic Mateo (The Philippine Star) | Updated July 12, 2013 – 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines – The University of the Philippines has allotted P40 million to fund a significant component in the government’s comprehensive mapping project to identify hazard-prone areas in the country.

In an invitation to bid published in The STAR yesterday, the UP Supply and Property Management Office said the budget allocation would be for “Flood Hazard Exposure Feature Extraction from LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) Datasets” that is part of the government’s Project NOAH (Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards), the country’s flagship program in disaster mitigation.

The pre-bid conference is set on July 18.

Feature extraction is a component of the data processing component of the Disaster Risk and Exposure Assessment for Mitigation (DREAM) project, a two-year partnership program of UP and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).

The P1.2-billion DREAM program was among the eight components of DOST’s Project NOAH.

Project NOAH seeks to harness technologies and management services for disaster risk reduction activities offered by the DOST in partnership with the UP National Institute of Geological Sciences (NIGS) and the UP College of Engineering.

Ellaine Pama, a member of DREAM’s data processing component, said the P40-million budget would be used to employ a team that will conduct the feature extraction.

She said feature extraction will produce three-dimensional maps using the aerial data collected by state-of-the-art LiDAR instruments.

Science Secretary Mario Montejo earlier said the DREAM project would determine the areas that are prone to floods, landslides, and other natural hazards.

Program leader Enrico Paringit said the 3D datasets will be used as basis for reliable, detailed, and up-to-date flood hazard models.

“The maps that will be generated by DREAM will be very beneficial for government agencies,” Paringit said in an earlier statement.

“After the initial mapping and flood modeling program, we can always use the LiDAR instruments for other purposes, including, God forbid, post-disaster damage assessments like earthquakes, tsunamis, etc.,” he added.

In May, the university also announced the start of the bidding process for the lease of an aircraft that will fly for a total of 1,450 hours.

UP allotted almost P55 million for the aircraft, which will be used to gather aerial data for the DREAM project.

Ariel Blanco, director of UP’s Training Center for Applied Geodesy and Photogrammetry and chairman of UP’s Department of Geodetic Engineering, told The STAR in an earlier interview that the funding for the DREAM project came from the government and not from the general fund of the university.

This article was originally published in the Philippine Star on July 12, 2013

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