Photo by: Jimmy Camba
Another important event for DOST-PAGASA as the agency announced the completion of the Technical Cooperation Project (TCP). Supported by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the TCP serves as PAGASA’s response to the need for capacity building measures for the personnel of PAGASA’s Hydrometeorology Division and its river centers, as they will also be in-charge of its operational and administrative activities.
One of PAGASA’s continuing endeavors is to enhance one of its operational activities: using the Flood Forecasting and Warning System (FFWS) to cover the 18 major river basins in the country. Similar to the five (5) major river basins that already have an operational FFWS – Bicol, Pampanga, Pasig-Marikina, Agno, Cagayan – the agency has embarked into the establishment of similar systems for the other 13 river basins with own river centers, hydrological monitoring facilities (to effect the issuance of an accurate, then timely, and relevant flood warning information), and the appropriate number of personnel.
In line with this development, and the expected increase in the volume of hydro-meteorological data at the main operation center of FFWS, there is an urgent need to set directions in terms of: (1) the development process, (2) the standards for equipment, data format, management and storage, operational guidelines and (3) the staffing pattern, to effectively and efficiently manage the over-all activities of the river center.
That is why an important emphasis of the project is data quality and management. Data quality is essential not only during operational activities, but also in optimizing the studies and analysis that can be done in the areas where river centers operate. Quality management of the collected data will provide a better avenue to analyze trends and to provide new insights on how to approach the challenges of hydro-meteorological hazards, its impacts, and other research endeavors related to it.
“It is expected that PAGASA will continue the development and improvement of the FFWS toward last status in the 18 major river basins in accordance with the Roadmap, the Mid-term Plans and other significant technical cooperation products.” JICA senior representative Ms. Ayumu Ohshima said in regards to the completed project and their expectations on PAGASA’s plans for it post-project.
Oshima adds, “we expect that the Philippines will fully utilize these materials and integrated weather database from the river basins we studied to enhance extreme weather reporting and monitoring, to assist relevant government agencies and local governments on disaster preparedness, and to support the Philippines’ overall initiatives on disaster resiliency under the national disaster management framework.”
“We are extending our heartfelt gratitude to the people of Japan thru JICA for their pronounced support in the improvement of FFWS,” Dr. Vicente B. Malano, Administrator of DOST-PAGASA, stated in response to JICA and the completion of the TCP. “It will be a great help to the people benefiting from the data gathered by DOST-PAGASA.”
Thru this project Dr. Malano added that “Japan has strengthened, not only the FFWS, but also its relationship with the Philippines.”