LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – The Cordillera office of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-CAR) remains committed to be one of the agencies actively involved in disaster risk reduction and climate change mitigation and adaptation after having put in place the necessary state-of-the-art units of monitoring equipment around the region to help monitor the prevailing weather situation in various places regionwide.
DOST-CAR regional coordinator for technology transfer cluster non-core Engr. Angel Maguen said that to date, there were already some 112 early warning stations and 30 water level monitoring devices that have been put in place in strategic areas in the region that produce the needed data to guide policy-makers and decision-makers in formulating the required disaster risk reduction and mitigation programs that should be implemented by concerned government agencies and local governments.
If the 112 early warning stations, Maguen said that 91 are automatic rain gauges, 19 are said to be water level monitoring stations and 2 are automatic weather stations.
On the other hand, the 30 early warning stations have been distributed in Abra and Apayao with 8 stations each, 2 each in Benguet, Ifugao and Baguio City, 7 stations are situated in Kalinga and 1 station was installed in Mountain Province.
DOST-CAR regional director Dr. Nancy Bantog claimed that for next year, the agency proposed the inclusion of funds for the purchase of the required landslide censors to help in monitoring the saturation of landslide-prone areas around the region to help in providing vital information to the people who are living in the said communities.
Bantog agreed with the contention that the focus for the region should be the putting in place of the state-of-the-art landslide censors in landslide-prone areas considering the mountainous terrain in most parts of the region vis-à-vis the priority of the national government on flooding among other forms of disasters that could strike anytime.
According to her, what was prioritized by the agency in the previous years were the flood-prone areas in the low-lying communities of the region but there is now a need to infuse the needed assistance for the implementation of the appropriate strategies that will guarantee the possible prevention of the occurrence of disasters due to landslides that pose a serious threat to life and limb.
One of the major programs of the agency is to provide the needed scientific and technology interventions to help in monitoring the potential disaster-prone areas around the region through the provision of state-of-the-art equipment capable of monitoring heavily induced areas for the issuance of the needed advisories to the people in such communities.
Bantog explained the installed early warning stations provide the needed information on the prevailing situation in the areas around it and feed the same to a centralized server which is being used by weather experts in providing the appropriate advisories to the people through their frequent weather updates and to guide the people in the area on the steps to undertake to ensure their safety and security from whatever untoward incidents that could happen in the said areas.