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A false-color satellite image shows Manila, Philippines.

Philippine President Aquino has directed the release of P1.6 billion to the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) to tap state-of-the-art technology for more accurate weather and disaster information and improve the government’s disaster planning and response system.

Budget and Management Secretary Florencio Abad said the funding issued to DOST would be used for its Nationwide Disaster Risk Exposure, Assessment and Mitigation (DREAM) program.

“The Aquino administration is beefing up its capacity for disaster planning and response,” said Abad. “Through the use of the latest technologies, DOST—under the leadership of Secretary Mario Montejo—is beefing up its capacity to produce weather information, flood maps and other critical data accurately and rapidly.”

Abad said the move is part of efforts to beef up the government’s capacity for disaster planning and response.

Under the DREAM program, DOST will acquire geospatial data gathering technologies, particularly light detection and ranging (LiDAR) and interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR). These technologies will produce detailed topographic information that will enable the creation of more accurate flood inundation maps. Abad stressed the usefulness of identifying flood-prone areas in rescue and relief operations.

LiDAR has the capability to see through forest canopy cover, making it a critical tool for forestry applications and environmental monitoring. The vertical accuracy provided by this particular technology makes it essential for producing rapid and accurate height data, a critical requirement for updating flood hazard maps. Integrating LiDAR with an aerial camera maximizes its geospatial accuracy and information content capability for detailed data extraction.

Besides identifying future flood-prone areas, flood-inundation maps will also be useful in rescue and relief operations. Furthermore, the resource information generated in the DOST project aims to respond to information requirements for development planning and natural resource and environment management, including forestry applications.

Source: The Philippines Star

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