Thursday, 25 August 2022 13:41

Sarangani partners with PHIVOLCS for REDAS use

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (August 25, 2022) – Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) officer-in-charge Teresito C. Bacolcol signed on Thursday (August 25) a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Provincial Government of Sarangani to formalize the partnership in the use of the Rapid Earthquake Damage Assessment System (REDAS) software.

The REDAS software can simulate earthquake hazards, can be used in the impact assessment, and now incorporates multi-hazard maps including hydrometeorological hazards.

The MOA was inked during the training about Mainstreaming Disaster Risk Reduction into the Local Development Planning Process, Contingency Planning, and Emergency Preparedness through the use of REDAS software for the Province of Sarangani. It was held at the regional Office of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED).

Engr. Allain Alcala, Sarangani Provincial Planning and Development Coordinator, and Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Officer (PDRRMO) Rene Punzalan witnessed the MOA signing.

Board Member Joseph M. Calanao said the 11th Sangguniang Panlalawigan approved on August 23 the resolution giving Governor Rogelio “Ruel” D. Pacquiao the authority to enter into a MOA with PHIVOLCS. Governor Pacquiao, however, will sign the MOA upon his arrival from an official travel in Manila.

With the “signs of rapid development (which are) all over,” Bacolcol said it is important for Sarangani LGUs and their residents “to be aware and prepared” in terms of hazards. He cited several life-threatening earthquake generators like the Makilala-Malungon Fault, Cotabato Trench, and the two active volcanoes (Mt. Matutum and Mt. Parker) “that may affect Sarangani.”

Bacolcol told the participants from the planning office, engineering office, PDRRMO in the provincial government and its counterparts from its seven towns that “the use of REDAS will help them in crafting their “DRMM and Comprehensive Land Use Plan.”

With the training, Calanao also echoed Governor Pacquiao’s thrust to establish a quick response team that would capacitate responders “para hindi tayo nahuhuli lalong-laong na kung may mga calamities like earthquakes at makakapag-responde on time.”

Provincial Administrator Atty. Ryan Jay Ramos said the training was just timely as the provincial government is currently preparing and updating its different plans and stressed for the “need to invest in capacitating Sarangans in the face of all these natural calamities.”

Considering that “resiliency is one of the agenda of Governor Pacquiao,” Engr. Alcala pointed out the need to focus on disaster mitigation “in our different development efforts knowing that we are in the ring of fire and we are in the typhoon belt. That is why, we are using this application because this REDAS is very, very useful to us planners.”

For Engr. Rica Ian Fiel Somcio, Engineer 1 in the planning section of the Provincial Engineering Office, the REDAS would help them in the inventory of their geo mapping of the province’s infrastructure assets as they are about to update the Infrastructure Master Plan.

Environmental planner Ahasuerus Keen Pacheco, Project Development Officer of MPDO Malungon, said he is grateful for the training “kay dako ni og tabang para mapa-paspas ang assessment sa damage” particularly the additional interlinked softwares with REDAS like the Satellite Rainfall Monitor, Exposure Data Mapper, and Earthquake and Tsunami Alerting Module. (Beverly C. Paoyon/SARANGANI PROVINCIAL INFORMATION OFFICE)

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