More ICT apps for disaster response sought-A A +A
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
WITH the rapid developments in technology, Senator Edgardo Angara called on the government to deploy more information and communications technology (ICT) applications needed in disaster preparation and mitigation.
The statement came after the recent launch of a mobile phone application connected to the Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards (Project NOAH) of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).
Developed by former DOST scholars Rolly Rulete, Pablito Veroy and Jay Albano, the mobile application will provide users real-time updates of weather and flood alerts from the Project NOAH website even if electricity, television and radio services get cut off.
"Data of this sort can help mitigate disasters and even save more lives," Angara said, noting that the country has recently been named the third most-disaster-prone country in the World Disaster Report 2012.
A recent report from the World Bank showed that in 2011, there were 101 mobile phone subscriptions in the country for every 100 people -- representing a significant jump from 41 subscriptions out of every 100 people in 2005.
Although mobile phone penetration is expected to reach 100 percent this year, industry analysts have said that smartphones represent only 29.4 percent of the local market.
"Many Filipinos will still be unable to access the Project NOAH application, but the fact that mobile phones are so ubiquitous in this country only underscores that we're taking steps in the right direction," said Angara, chair of the Congressional Commission on Science, Technology and Engineering. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)