Friday, July 27, 2012

Environmental Management Conference

Environmental Management Conference. Chief Geologist Arlene Dayao (on the lectern) of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) conveys the message of Regional Executive Director Gilbert Gonzales for the three-day regional conference on innovations for environment protection and management and  disaster risk reduction management which started today (July 25, 2012). The keynote speech focused on milestone projects of the department such as National Greening Program, Bicol River Basin Initiative, pollution control, and disaster risk reduction and management initiative. The conference was spearheaded by the Philippine Association of Tertiary Level Educational Institutions in Environmental Protection and Management (PATLEPAM). (Photo by Jessel Basanta, DENR-V/PIA Sorsogon)


SORSOGON CITY   A team from DOST-Pagasa organized a workshop in partnership with the Provincial Government of Sorsogon through the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council and its Secretariat on the use of Automatic Weather Station (AWS) data for disaster preparedness, just recently. 

In attendance was personnel of Sorsogon Provincial Disaster Risk Management Office (SPDRMO), along with some Sangguniang Panlalawigan members Rebecca “Becky” Aquino and Benito “Boytee” Doma, as well as officials and representatives from the Governor’s Office, SAR, Pagasa-Bicol, DOST-Sorsogon, Juban Synoptic Station, Philippine Army, PNP, PCG, BFP, PRC, PAO, PPDO, PHO, PBO, Provincial President of the League of Barangays, DepEd, DENR, DILG, DOH, DTI, NIA, GVDP, FACE/Childfund, PIA, the media and C/MDRMOs of the municipalities of Bulan, Bulusan, Casiguran, Donsol, Irosin, Magallanes, Prieto Diaz and Sorsogon City.

At the onset of the exercise, past disaster scenarios in the country were drawn out as the result of extreme Climate Change events which led to the development of the hybrid weather monitoring system and production of weather and rain automated stations under the Philippines’ DOST-ASTI-Pagasa. It underscored the rejoinder made by the National Government to address the inescapable calamities by advocating various correlated programmes by way of preparedness in the aspect of observing the weather parameters. 

Foremost objectives of the current undertaking according to Pagasa are: to produce AWS and 100 automated rain monitoring stations using local technology resources and deploy AWS and rain monitoring system in key areas across the country to complement Pagasa’s weather forecasting facilities with the following project components: network of AWS and automated rain stations; the system network communication, and Information Education Campaign (IEC). 

As disclosed by Pagasa, the length of the project covers two years (October 2010 to September 2011 and September 2011 to December 2012) with a total cost of P29, 877, 525.47 (ASTI – P26, 067.600.47; Pagasa – P3, 809.600.00). The task points out that 1softening the impact of natural hazards is a function of the community’s sensitivity and resilience; 2disasters do not recognize political or geographic boundaries, and 3national as well as community-based disaster risk management protocols must be in place.

On the whole, Pagasa presented their mandate which is to provide protection against calamities and utilize scientific knowledge as an effective instrument to insure the safety, well-being, and economic security of all the people, and for the promotion of national progress; the weather hazards (thunderstorms, cold fronts, monsoons, intertropical convergence zone, tropical cyclones) and comparative results particularly in Bicol Region; existing related methodological schemes which consist of supplementing advisory stations that undertake activities relative to observation, collection, assessment and processing of atmospheric and allied data for the benefit of agriculture, commerce and industry; chronological information of storm entry by the year, as well as the local names given for each; calendar of hazards provided by Pagasa for reference.

Also presented were typhoon classification and related warning signals/precautionary measures; weather systems/climate variability highlighting on consequences made happen by the El Niño and La Niña phenomenon; causes of floods (e.g. storm surges, heavy rainfall), the country’s vulnerability and the corresponding warning system and preparedness procedures; and the operational/basic maintenance guidelines on AWS and Automatic Rain Gauge (ARG) which determines the basic rain threshold value for each province.

The Synoptic Station in Juban, Sorsogon which was one of the initiatives of former governor Sally Ante Lee is Pagasa’s 59th observation station (6 in Region V) that observes the weather outlook every three hours and provides indicators for Metro Manila to generate an overall forecast and deliver an unrestricted data to the rest of the world. 

It was stressed as well in the course of the workshop that the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration is a warning agency and its delivery of information comes from the Office of Civil Defense (OCD).

The team likewise provided visualization and practical operation of the AWS, predominantly on its data interpretation and accessibility to Project NOAH on the web and the interrelated significance of Predict (, or the Philippine Real-Time Environment Data Acquisition and Interpretation for Climate-Related Tragedy Prevention and Mitigation, which is a nationwide system meant to complement the existing observation capability of Pagasa. The system consists of a network of automated weather stations that gather and transmit observation data to a central server through the cellular network. 

Each observation station is a rugged device equipped with sensors for the various required parameters such as temperature, pressure, humidity, wind direction, wind speed, and rainfall. It is also equipped with a GSM/GPRS modem to transmit data to the central server.  Predict includes the design and production of the AWS units, development of the server software, and deployment in the selected sites. The environmental parameters that will be acquired and stored by the units will be used for weather forecasting and real-time environmental monitoring. These data will be used for agricultural applications, disaster mitigation, and for general research.

Designed by the Advanced Science and Technology Institute (ASTI), an AWS was installed last year by Pagasa for the Local Government Unit of Barcelona and lately, an ARG for Donsol, Sorsogon.

To comeback back with the entreaties which surfaced from these two accomplishments, Engineer Raden D. Dimaano announced SPDRMO’s pending proposal with the United Nations World Food Programme to support the succeeding project installations for a selection of areas in the province.

Among UNWFP’s biggest involvements last year was through its USAID/OFDA-funded Disaster Preparedness and Response (DPR) activities. Under the 1st phase project, it has supported LGU Juban’s Disaster Risk Reduction Management (DRRM) Operations Center which now serves as a hub for systematic coordination, integration and response actions of the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (MDRRMC) members. The project furthermore increased the competence of the Municipal Disaster Risk Management Offices (MDRMOs), like what took on in LGU Irosin wherein Capacity Buildings were reached out through a Training of Trainers (TOTs). This exercise produced a pool of trainers who were merely community volunteers. They were assisted by the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP) who conducted the Community-Based Disaster Risk Management Trainings (CBDRMTs), after which a series of roll-outs were carried out down to the barangay level.

The 2nd phase of the UNWFP project which has an overall purpose of contributing to the reduction of mortality, protection of lives and livelihood and reducing the impact of natural disasters on the socio-economic wellbeing of vulnerable communities has a timeline marked for 18 months and officially started last April, 2012. 

During a brief visit last September 2011 at the Chief Executive’s Office to discuss UNWFP’s continuing support to the Province of Sorsogon, Consultant Joan Fluren, Programme Officer Abraham Abatneh and Field Monitor Ruby Sinen discussed with Sorsogon Governor Raul R. Lee the possible expansion and enhancement, as well as how UNWFP can complement these activities. 

Dimaano meanwhile considered Pagasa’s IEC imperative for putting things in place to know the nitty-gritties required by DOST-Pagasa-ASTI. Reciprocating with this, a joint collaboration with ASTI and Pagasa was recommended by the workshop facilitators. The latter endorses the sight location, while the former which is the manufacturing arm of the DOST approves the right equipment. The project bid must also be harmonized with the department’s Regional Office. A licence agreement is necessary to purchase the AWS and earlier, a quotation was already sent to the SPDRMO enclosing the quantity, item description, and the unit/total cost of the package inclusions which consist of a training session in ASTI on handling, installation and maintenance; six months consultancy service for its effective deployment; and the communication SIM to be provided.

NOAH ( on the other hand has a mission to undertake disaster science research/development and advance the use of cutting edge technologies and recommend innovative information services in government's disaster prevention and mitigation efforts. Though the use of science and technology and in partnership with the academe and other stakeholders, the DOST through Program NOAH is taking a multi-disciplinary approach in developing systems, tools, and other technologies that could be operationalized by the government to help prevent and mitigate disasters.

Photo by: Von Labalan, spdrmo.PIA Sorsogon
The project’s immediate task is to integrate current disaster science research and development projects and initiate new efforts within the DOST to achieve this objective. Presently there are eight component projects under the NOAH programme, namely: Hydromet Sensors Development; DREAM-LIDAR 3-D Mapping Project; Flood NET-Flood Modelling Project; Hazards Information Media; Enhancing Geo-hazards mapping through LIDAR; Doppler System Development; Landslide Sensors Development Project; and Storm Surge Inundation Mapping Project. 

The current NOAH Programme team is composed of the scientist-leaders of these projects. The country's warning agencies: Pagasa and Phivolcs are also represented.

Within two years, NOAH shall provide high-resolution flood hazard maps and install 600 automated rain gauges and 400 water level measuring stations for 18 major river basins of the Philippines, particularly the Bicol River Basin. (Von Andre E. Labalan, SPDRMO/PIA Sorsogon)

DENR Press Release

Proyektong rehabilitasyon at pagtatanim ng mga bakawan sa Brgy. Gimaloto, sinimulan na

Ni: Bennie A. Recebido

LUNGSOD NG SORSOGON, Hulyo 27 (PIA) – Labinlimang-libong mga mangrove propagules ang naitanim kahapon ng mga kasapi ng Seaweed Growers and Aqua-culture Association of Sorsogon (SEAGRASS), mga tauhan ng Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), Sorsogon City Police Station, Philippine Information Agency (PIA) at ilang kasapi ng media sa Brgy. Gimaloto, Sorsogon City.

Ayon kay BFAR Sorsogon Provincial Fishery Officer Gil Ramos, 50,000 mga bakawan ang nakatakdang itanim sa 15 ektaryang latian ng bakawan sa Brgy. Gimaloto hanggang sa susunod na linggo sa ilalim ng Mangrove Rehabilitation and Reforestation Project sa mga aydentipikadong Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs) sa rehiyon ng Bicol.

Aniya, mapalad na napili ang Brgy. Gimaloto upang maging benepisyaryo ng aquasilvi culture project na bigay ng BFAR tulad ng sakahan ng gulaman, mangrove reforestation at at iba pang mga proyektong pangkabuhayan.

Ito umano ay nagkakahalaga sa kabuuan ng P350,000 kung saan inisyal na ibibigay ang halagang P250,000 sa mga kasapi ng SEAGRASS na siyang nagtanim at mangangalaga hanggang sa lumago ang mga kabakawanang naitanim. Ang natitirang halaga ay ibibigay sa kanila sakaling fully-grown na ang mga bakawang ito.

Aniya, ang SEAGRASS ang magiging tagapangalaga at tagabantay ng nasabing mangrove site sa loob ng 25 taon matapos ang pirmahan ng Memorandum of Agreement (MOA).

Alinsunod sa kasunduan, ang SEAGRASS ang siyang mangangasiwa sa pangangalaga at pagpapaunlad pa ng lugar. Maaari din umano silang makabenepisyo sa mga itatanim na puno ng bakawan kung saan papayagan ang mga kasapi na kumuha ng sanga ng bakawan at iba pang ani mula sa aquasilvi culture project sa ilalim ng patnubay ng Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) at ng BFAR.

Ang SEAGRASS ay isang people’s organization na binubuo ng mga mangingisda at magsasaka ng Brgy. Gimaloto sa kanlurang distrito ng lungsod ng Sorsogon. (BARecebido, PIA Sorsogon)
Si Bennie A. Recebido ng PIA Sorsogon habang kinakapanayam para sa TV4 local channel si Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Provincial Fishery Officer Gil B. Ramos ukol sa isinasagawang pagtatanim ng mga bakawan sa Brgy. Gimaloto, West District, Sorsogon City. 15 ektarya ng lupain ang nakatakdang pagtaniman ng 50,000 mga bakawan sa ilalim ng Mangrove Rehabilitation and Reforestation Project sa mga aydentipikadong Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs) sa rehiyon ng Bicol. (PIA Sorsogon)
Kasama ang SEAGRASS, PNP, BFAR at ilang media, isinagawa ang pagtatanim ng mga bakawan. Isa din ang aktibidad na ito sa altenatibong mapagkakakitaan ng mga kasapi ng SEAGRASS at balak din ng BFAR na i-expand pa ang aquasilvi project sa nasabing barangay upang lalo pang matulungan ang mga residente doon lalo na rin yaong kabilang sa 4Ps ng pamahalaan. (PIA Sorsogon)

Hakbang sa pagsugpo sa ilegal na pamumutol ng kahoy at pag-uuling sa mga protected areas ilalatag ng DENR

Ni: Bennie A. Recebido

LUNGSOD NG SORSOGON, Hulyo 27 (PIA) – Patuloy ang pagsisikap ng Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Bicol na makapaglatag pa ng mga konkretong hakbang upang tuluyan nang matuldukan ang ilegal na pagpuputol ng kahoy at pag-uuling sa mga protected area.

Sa pangunang paglulunsad nito ay ipapatawag ng bagong DENR Bicol Regional Executive Director Gilbert C. Gonzales ang Provincial ENR Officer at City ENRO at mga protected area superintendent sa mga protected area ng Camarines Norte at ang dalawang Regional Technical Director (RTD) para sa Forest Management Service (FMS) at Protected Areas Wildlife and Coastal Zone Management Service (PAWZCMS).

Sa gagawing pagtitipon sa huling araw ng Hulyo, ilalatag ng DENR ang mga istratehiya at mga hakbang na gagawin upang matuldukan na ang ilegal na pagpuputol ng kahoy at pag-uuling na mahigpit na ipinagbabawal lalo na sa mga protected area tulad na lamang halimbawa ng Bicol Natural Park.

Positibo si Director Gonzales na sa pro-active at praktikal na hakbang na gagawin sa mga isyung tulad nito ay mas epektibong maipatutupad ang kampanya laban sa ilegal na pagpuputol ng kahoy at pag-uuling. (BARecebido, PIA Sorsogon/ RMEndones, DENR-V)

SPPO conducts Bloodletting Activity

SPPO conducts Bloodletting Activity. The Sorsogon Police Provincial Office spearheaded by Provincial Director PSSUPT John CA Jambora, conducted bloodletting activity at PHQ Building, Camp Salvador C. Escudero Sr., Sorsogon City on July 20, 2012. The activity was facilitated and supported by the Sorsogon Medical Mission Group Hospital and Health Service Cooperative (SMMGHHSC), the City Health Office of Sorsogon City headed by Dr. Larry Garrido and the Regional Blood Center under the Department of Health, Legazpi City headed by Ms Nerissa Mateas, RN. The activity was in connection with the 17th PCR Month celebration and participated in PNP personnel, NUP personnel of PHQ, SORPPO and different PNP offices in the province and civilians.  A total of seventeen thousand five hundred cc of blood was donated from more or less fifty donors on the said activity. According to Philippine Blood Center, “Blood donors are considered as modern heroes who care enough to share their blood and spend their time in order to save another person’s life”. (NFMarquez, CDO/MEspena, SPPO/PIA Sorsogon)