A forum on the government’s Project Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards (NOAH), Earthquake Preparedness and the National Greening Program (NGP) was held today at the Ecology Center Compound in Diliman, Quezon City.
Participated by city environment and natural resources officers (CENRO) as well as disaster management unit officers in Metro Manila’s local government units (lgus), the forum aims to educate city officials on earthquake preparedness given the existence of the West Valley Fault traversing certain areas in Metro Manila; as well as in the use of the DOST-created application/ website named Project NOAH as an early warning tool for typhoon preparedness which aims to assist the public in disaster prevention.
The forum also aims to give a background to the participants on the government’s National Greening Program or the Executive Order 26 which aims to plant some 1.5 Billion trees for a period of six years (2011-2016), and the harmonizing of this initiative in Metro Manila.
Among the invited resource speaker in the forum is Mr. Jeffrey Perez, Supervising Science Research Specialist of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PhiVolcs), who discussed the possibility of a strong earthquake in Metro Manila with the existence of the West Valley Fault, as well as other calamities caused by the country’s geographic and geologic setting.
He said that certain areas in Metro Manila such as Quezon City, Marikina, Makati, Pasig, Taguig, and Muntinlupa would be directly affected with the West Valley Fault traversing the said areas.
Mr. Oscar Victor Lizardo, Chief Science Research Specialist from the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), gave an overview of the tool Project NOAH which provides for an accurate, integrated, and responsive disaster prevention and mitigation system, especially in high-risk areas in the Philippines.
He discussed the different warning signals that could be seen in the tool, which could serve as guide to the public in identifying disaster-prone and/or calamity-affected areas.
Regional Technical Director Antonio C. Manila presented implementing activities of the various LGUs in the National Capital Region (NCR) in compliance of the National Greening Program.
The forum is a joint project of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR-NCR) and the Philippine Information Agency-National capital Region (PIA-NCR) in response to the growing threat of climate change which affects the world today.
DENR-NCR Regional Executive Director Lourdes Wagan in her welcome remarks said that the activities (including the said forum) that would be implemented by PIA and NCR are all climate change mitigation and adaptation activities that would help the public prepare for disasters brought about by climate change.
PIA-NCR Regional Director Riza J. Baldoria in her keynote speech said that the forum is among the series of activities to be implemented by DENR and PIA as part of the national and regional campaign for climate change adaptation and mitigation.
The project is a product of the memorandum of agreement (MOA) signed by DENR Secretary Ramon J.P. Paje and Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO)- PIA Secretary Sonny Coloma which provides for a partnership between the two said agencies in the campaign of climate change adaptation and mitigation.
RD Baldoria said that the different activities lined up throughout the year which include various fora, mural painting, AVP launch, Puppet Theater presentation, social mobilization activities such as “Happy birthday, Tree, Youth Camp, among others, would provide for the necessary information to shed light on climate change as a product of human activities.
She said that while these activities would educate the public, these are also aimed at making the people realize the role they have to play to address climate change, as they are guided by the campaign’s battlecry “Pabago-bago na ang panahon, panahon na para magbago.”
She ended her speech by leaving a quote which aptly summarizes the reality about the man and the environment: “The earth doesn’t belong to man; Man belongs to Earth. Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons and daughters of the earth.”