Why Congress should give DOST-PAGASA more monies

Screen Shot of Project NOAH

Today, Local Governments of Manila were pounded on twitter for their slow action in declaring cancelation of classes. This after the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Agency issued an alert as early as 3:23 in the morning.

Here’s a brief run down of tweets from PAGASA:

PAGASA Tweets rainfall

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Agency issued flood warnings in Metro Manila and nearby areas as early as 3AM.

Storified by Cocoy Dayao · Mon, Jul 02 2012 17:51:45

ISSUED AT 3:01AM 3 JULY 2012 A 56.8mm rainfall was observed at Sangley, Cavite for the past 4 hours and most (cont) http://tl.gd/i4qg6cPAGASA-DOST
at 3:15am, 3 july 64mm obs. rainfall at port area, for d past 4 hrs.& mostly likely to continue 4 the next hr.serious flooding is expected.PAGASA-DOST
at 3:22am, 3 july 22.9mm obs. rainfall at sci. garden, for d past 3 hrs.& mostly likely to continue d next hr.flooding is threatening.PAGASA-DOST
As of 3:25am, Mod. to heavy rains in Gen.Nakar Quezon and the eastern towns of Bulacan.PAGASA-DOST
24hr Public Weather Forecast 5am, 03 July 2012 at 2am today, the low pressure area (LPA) was located at 30 km (cont) http://tl.gd/i4r9jtPAGASA-DOST
YELLOW WARNING SIGNAL: Issued at: 6:20 AM, 03 July 2012 (Tuesday) Target Areas: Metro Manila At 6:00 AM, (cont) http://tl.gd/i4rd94PAGASA-DOST
7:35 am moderate to heavy rainshowers in the vicinity of abucay, bataan and balanga cityPAGASA-DOST
7:42 am moderate to heavy rains over hagonoy, bulacan and nearby municipalities.PAGASA-DOST
8:13 am light to moderate rains over real, infanta, quezon and nearby municipalities.PAGASA-DOST
YELLOW WARNING SIGNAL: Issued at: 8:30 AM, 03 July 2012 (Tuesday) Target Areas: Metro Manila At 8:00 AM, (cont) http://tl.gd/i4saqdPAGASA-DOST

Another interesting tool that the Department of Science and Technology with PAGASA and other agencies have come up with is a nifty little tool called Project NOAH. It is a brilliant idea that tells you exactly how much rain is pouring down on you in real-time. So yeah, Local government units, and Parents, and schools can use this information to make a very informed decision about school cancelation for example. This is publicly available web application (viewable also on iPad, and iPhone, but tougher to navigate on iPhone), that uses Doppler Radar and other sensors to measure rainfall in the entire Philippines! So yeah, you’re in Cebu or in Mindanao and wanted to know rainfall? This will help. It shows you in real-time, everything. It is brilliant!

I’ve been using it all morning to keep track of the weather. And I’ve noticed that it could be made more user-friendly, and looks like we need more sensors. This is the part where I think Congress (since budget comes from them) should give DOST-PAGASA more monies to make this a very, very superior Application. We need more sensors not just in Metro Manila, but in the entire country.

This is also another example why there should be Internet everywhere. Information like this should be readily available in every street corner. We need an informed population, and the only way to fight stupid is to put information and give it the broadest spectrum of the population.

This is something we could do. This is information, parents, schools, and local governments need to know to make informed decisions about kids, and disaster preparation. We live in a nation where disaster is a constant companion. We live by this year in, and year out, and we finally have technology that can aid us in ensuring fewer lives, are lost; fewer families broken; economic productivity is ensured in spite of the floods and the rain, and materially less destructive. Investment in being smart will do a long way in disaster preparation. Quite obviously no amount of preparation will eliminate tragedy, but an informed citizenry is our first line of defense. So Dear Congress, and GovPH, and the private sector— let’s build this tool, and let’s make it accessible everywhere.

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.

  • “This is also another example why there should be Internet everywhere.”
    This is the difference between a visionary and a rock. If the internet were everywhere, our kids could be drawing off their lessons at home instead of trudging in the rain with tattered and outdated textbooks to get crammed into a hollowblock box with 44 other kids, and to be ordered about like toy soldiers and developing no brain to think for themselves. You are a visionary. The educators and politicians are largely rocks.

    • UPnnGrd

       Dragon Ball Z!!!!