Philippines: Mindanao LGUs hail Geo-SAFER program
By Jennifer P. Gaitano
BUTUAN CITY — The Geo-Informatics for the Systematic Assessment of Flood Effects and Risks Toward a Resilient (Geo-SAFER) Mindanao program has gained support from local government units (LGUs) of different regions in Mindanao, in its contribution to the creation of a highly detailed flood hazard map as a useful tool for the local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Councils (DRRMCs) during typhoon events, which are expected to bring heavy rains and cause floods, especially in areas near the river banks.
Eric Rosillo, PDRRM Officer of Davao del Norte stressed the need for local residents in barangays to be well informed on flood hazard maps to have a better appreciation on their uses. He cited that the map was created thru the use of light detection and ranging (LiDAR) and interferometric synthetic aperture radar (IFSAR) technologies.
“I think this program is very important for the local government units like my province because Davao del Norte is perennial in flooding, so we need an updated map like this," said Rosillo.
"We can use that during our pre-disaster risk assessment in times of possible flooding, and for policy guidelines if there’s a need to relocate these communities or if there’s a need to evacuate these communities,” he added.
Local DRRM Officer Jover Manliguez of Las Nieves, Agusan del Norte is also thankful for this initiative by Geo-SAFER Mindanao and encouraged the locals in the barangays to intensify their disaster preparedness measures to maintain a zero casualty during any calamity or disaster event like typhoons, fires, and earthquakes.
“We will also share this down to the barangays so they will be aware and would be more alert especially in times of disaster,” Manliguez said.
Meanwhile, RDRRMC chairperson and Office of Civil Defense (OCD) Caraga Regional Director Liza Mazo urged the LGUs thru the LDRRMCs to be well trained on this technology, so they are more equipped and capable in their function to make critical decisions when facing disaster events.
The Geo-SAFER Agusan Project is a component of the Geo-SAFER Mindanao Program with Caraga State University (CSU) as the implementing higher education institution that will guide the LGUs in the implementation of the project. It aims to conduct geo-informatics based approaches for the systematic assessment of flooding in the different watersheds of Caraga region. (JPG/PIA-Caraga)