We need to be masters of the rain

Last night, Manila fell once again.  Drowned after 10 to 15 mm per hour of rain poured down the capital.  Tropical Storm Falcon was far off at sea.  It was Falcon pulling in monsoon.  Pretty much, productivity, and health go down the drain when the capital goes under water.

A LOT has changed at PAGASA.  In fact it is way better now at communicating information to the public.  A LOT still needs to change.  We still need the weather bureau for instance to be able to translate the scientific data into real world language.  And more importantly, I think the weather bureau needs to be able to determine the amount of rainfall that would strike any part of the country.

We need to be able to focus on saying 10 to 15 mm is expected in 3 hours, or in a day.  Is that do-able?  Is it a matter of getting the right equipment?  The right gear?  Is it a matter of getting more experts in the field to do this?

Knowing the rate of rainfall will give the MMDA some idea of what sort of traffic is going to come.  It gives the PNP and LGUs and disaster relief teams some idea of what equipment they’ll need and where to deploy.  It gives the DepEd and universities an idea whether classes should be suspended or not.  It gives offices an idea when to send their employees home to work from home.

We’re talking about billions of pesos in productivity lost every time the country’s capital sinks. We’re talking about people getting sick, or worse get caught up in flood and swept by a manhole.  We’re talking about infrastructure development that we could tailor to meet the demands of the times.  And it isn’t just in the capital, this could be applied across the country.

We need to invest on this, and invest on this as soon as possible.  PAGASA is our first line of defense in a nation that gets 15 to 20 storms a year.  It doesn’t have to be an Ondoy level typhoon— even this monsoon is packing more trouble than a storm.

Let’s also try to get more people to telecommute.  Let’s get more people to hold meetings over Skype or some other voice over IP.  Let’s get to use technology to make productivity better.   That means better, faster Internet as well.  In a country that gets this sort of weather year-in and year-out we have to find ways to keep creating money, and keep working while the elements are against us.

Let’s give PAGASA all the tools they will need, and all the funding they will need because this really translates to so much more— health of children, safety of our people, and productivity for our economy.

Cocoy Dayao

Cocoy is the Chief Technology Officer of Lab Rats Technica, a Digital Consulting company that specialises in DevOps, iOS, and Web Apps, E-Commerce sites, Cybersecurity and Social Media consulting. He is a technology enthusiast, political junkie and social observer who enjoys a good cup of coffee, comic books, and tweets as @cocoy on twitter.

Cocoy is also the Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief of the ProPinoy Project.

Cocoy considers himself to be Liberal.

  • UPnnGrd

    Ooooops… Malabon 2012 …. floods.

  • UPnnGrd

    PersiNoynoy cut down on infra flood control projects with GuLLOO signature…. cool!

  • lars

    I think PAGASA is not at fault. They’re job is to predict the weather.And their predictions wasn’t bad. Objectively speaking, Falcon isn’t that bad a storm. But it was still enough to shut down many areas. Why because the drains are filled with garbage or water lilies or something! (http://ph.politicalarena.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=731). PAG-ASA can’t predict bad local mainetenance.

    +1 on your Skype suggestion.

    • Cocoy

      Yep. Our drains are clogged because people throw garbage in the sewer. So there is a social component as much as there is a need to update flood control, and as much as we need PAGASA to be able to tell us the amount of rainfall in a given area. So I believe they all go hand in hand.

    • GabbyD

      thanks lars for making sense.

    • UP nn grad

      Is it possible really? Can it be done without spending billions of pesos?

      Malacanang probably believes (and Malacanang is most likely correct) that Pinoys-in-Metro-Manila will put up with four or five more Falcon-floodings and Pinoys-in-metro-Manila will shrug off another Ondoy-devastation.

      But really — is “daang matuwid” without raising taxes sufficient to get the job done — flood control or at least 50%-improvement — before year-2015 arrives?

      The drainage system — those concrete or cast-iron pipes under the streets are clogged with silt and junk. Can they be cleared without spending money? Can using forced-labor be sufficient, or is hard-cash needed (to get construction equipment and other special devices) to get the job done? The super-glorious and highly-mouthed Pilipino-bayanihan-spirit? Can labor alone just do the job?

      If money is needed — where would it come from? [Japan war reparations as a source is long gone, isn’t it?]Donations from USA or Europe or Australia or Japan? Really?? From Beijing? Really?

      Is “daang matuwid” without raising taxes sufficient to get the job done in the next 3 years?

      From where will the leadership come? Without a doubt, it takes courage to propose higher taxes for Pinoys-in-Pinas Should it be Imelda Marcos that should sound the trumpet?

      • UP nn grad

        Progress is coming to Malabon, though. A highway/flood-control project started when Noynoy entered Malacanang is about to get completed in the next 6 to 8 months. News says they are down to the last kilometer to complete the project. Yeyyyy!!!

        • UP nn grad

          Yeyyy is because even if highways projects historically have the stench of graft/corruption… suwerte na lang Noynoy did not stop the funding for the Malabon project. Good job in not freezing the funds for the Malabon project, presidente Noynoy!!! Yeyyy!!!

      • GabbyD

        ” Can it be done without spending billions of pesos?”

        no. its not even merely building infra. its MORE than that. its about where people live. how we dispose of trash. its a pretty big problem.

  • Thai anton

    A lot of improvement ? How do you measure improvements ? Improvement means no more flooding in metro Manila, no more clogged sewer drainage,
    and working pumping stations, it there is flooding nothing changed.

    • UP nn grad

      Apparently, it happened in Cotabato — Noynoy administration stopped the funding of GMA-administration projects for flood-mitigation Did it happen, too – Marikina-river, Central Luzon/NCR area flood mitigation projects — funding got frozen by Noynoy?

    • UP nn grad

      There will be more than 8 key parts to metro-Manila flood controll. Two of these ingredients will be:
      (1) Paranaque spillway;
      (2) raising taxes.

      The spillway?? A long-time idea, killed by Cory Aquino. GuLLOOO proposed it again 3 years ago, I hope Noynoy Aquino does not kill the idea.

      Raising taxes??? This may be a good time for Noynoy to renege on his “…no raising taxes!!!” campaign-promise and say Pilipinas needs to raise taxes for the P20Billion or more for the spillway, Maybe Presi-Noynoy raises another P20Billion to build more primary- and secondary public school buildings.

  • john

    nice post coy. isa talaga sa napakalaking perwisyo at alalahanin ng mga taga-metro manila ‘yang baha (isama mo na ‘yung sunog at ‘wag naman sana lindol). noong nasa PH pa ako isa ‘yang baha ang isa sa mga pinagtiisan ko. baha sa bahay, baha papasok ng eskwela, baha papunta ng trabaho. kapag minalas pa stranded sa kalsa, trapik, at walang opsyon kundi maglakad ng ilang kilometro. kamalas-malasan kung magkasakit ka pa. sana naman masolusyunan na ng pamahalaan at ng mamamayan itong napakatagal ng problema ng pagbabaha sa metro manila.