Lingayen – Among the 81 provinces in the Philippines, Pangasinan was chosen by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) as pilot province for its Integrated Geographic Information System (GIS) which is designed to improve further the disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM) in the region.
The JICA-funded GIS project which covers municipalities of Lingayen and Binmaley and Dagupan City was launched at the Urduja House, here, on March 31 which was attended by top executives from JICA – Philippines and partner project implementers Informatrix, PhilNITS and CTI Engineering International along with Vice Governor Jose Ferdinand Z. Calimlim, Jr. and local chief executives and representatives from pilot areas in the province.
Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Officer (PDRRMO) chief Rhodyn Lochinvar Oro stressed that the implementation of the Integrated GIS project in Pangasinan will boost the disaster management capability of the province as information relative to disaster mitigation and response, and recovery can be easily shared among concerned local government units (LGUs).
“With this technology, now at hand, and through the active leadership of Governor Amado T. Espino, Jr., we can face monitored disasters better,” Oro said.
It was learned that GIS will help pinpoint the areas considered prone to disaster, including critical infrastructure and where to find safe evacuation areas.
Meanwhile, JICA – Philippines senior representative Takahiro Morita informed the LGU beneficiaries that the Integrated GIS will help improve information sharing for DRMM activities to attain zero casualty on the ground at the peak of a disaster.
To jumpstart the project implementation, JICA’s local partner PhilNITS is tasked to design and implement the GIS using the Geo Cloud software of Informatix.
PhilNITS President Ma. Corazon Akol said the GIS project will be operational by October this year. However, a 10-month period will be consumed for the preparation and testing of the GIS hardware and software components and for the training of system operators before the Integrated GIS becomes fully-operational.
On behalf of Governor Espino, Vice Governor Jose Ferdinand Z. Calimlim, Jr. thanked JICA and its partners for selecting Pangasinan as pilot area of the Integrated GIS.
VG Calimlim noted that the advancement of disaster management through the employment of modern technology is a bold move of the Espino administration to level up DRMM activities to mitigate the effects of disasters in Pangasinan.
LGU – Pangasinan being a recipient of ‘Gawad Kalasag’ regional award in recognition to its exceptional disaster management capability is expected to further boost its DRRM with the installation of Integrated GIS products.
By Dexter A. See