RESEARCHERS from the University of the Philippines Mindanao turned over flood hazard maps to officials of southeastern Mindanao provinces on 11 April in Davao City. Printed copies and soft-copies of the maps, showing the probable flood events based on amounts of rain, were turned over by the Geo-Informatics for the Systematic Assessment of Flood Effects and Risks for a Resilient Mindanao, or Geo-SAFER Mindanao, in the presence of representatives from Department of Science and Technology.
UP Mindanao Project Leader Prof. Joseph Acosta in his remarks said, "It has been two years of field work that included wading into riverbeds. But, in any research endeavor, the most important action is the dissemination of the research output."
Some 24 river system watersheds were mapped by the UP Mindanao Geo-SAFER project over the two-year period: Davao Oriental with seven watersheds; Davao Occidental with four; Compostela Valley with five; Davao del Norte with three; and Davao del Sur with five, including two in Davao City.
Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, in her message read by Davao City Planning Officer Ivan Cortez, said, "Being in the Ring of Fire and with the advent of Climate Change, the Philippines must be pro-active in utilizing technological advancement and facilitating information dissemination."
Davao del Norte Governor Anthony del Rosario, in his message said, "Filipinos are known for their resilience, but today we aim to become more resilient in terms of preparedness and disaster risk-reduction."
Receiving the maps on behalf of the provinces were their respective Provincial Disaster Risk-Reduction Management Council (PDRMMC) representatives, Mr. Ritchie Jermia of Compostela Valley, Engr. Gina Chua of Davao del Sur, Mr. Francis Jason Bendulo of Davao Oriental, Ms. Noviejane Rojas of Davao del Norte, and Mr. Harry Chester Camoro of Davao Occidental. Mr. Jermia said, "The program of Governor Jayvee Tyron Uy is to strengthen the PDRRMC, and these maps will enhance our existing Early Warning Systems." Mr. Camoro said, "These maps will surely save a thousand lives."
As a testimony, Geosafer Mindanao Program Leader Engr. Meriam Makinano-Santillan related the successful evacuation of a village in Surigao from flood earlier in the year following a forecast from the project's computer application.
DOST-XI Regional Director Anthony Sales suggested that, "These maps should be presented to the Regional Development Council-XI to be used as their basis for policy-making and to enjoin the various local government units to use these maps."
UP Mindanao technical experts also provided a mini-seminar for the officials. Mr. Gus Kali Oguis spoke on on "Flood Map Generation", Engr. Ryan Calvo on the "Field Survey", and Ms. Trisha Mae Lopena on "Data Processing". Mr. Ryan Keath de Leon in his talk on "Flood Modeling" showed how to identify the appropriate map based on the period of rain.
Dean Dominica Dacera of the UP Mindanao College of Science and Mathematics in her message invited the attendees to avail of more science and technology facilities and services from UP Mindanao and to encourage their provincial youth to apply for the UP College Admission Test.
Also present in the forum were Office of Civil Defense-XI Regional Director Manuel Ochotorena, DENR-XI Mines and Geosciences Bureau Engr. Elac Paye, Damaso Vertido of MinLand, Bema Tajones of PAGASA, Jasper Cristobal of Mindanao Development Authority, Araceli Malate of Central 911, Lee Datuin of Compostela Valley State College, and their agencies' staff members.
The Geo-SAFER Mindanao program is being implemented by various higher educational institutions in Mindanao, with UP Mindanao assigned to Region XI. It continued the work started by the UP Mindanao Phil-Lidar 1 project which created maps for 13 rivers which were, likewise, turned over to local government units in 2017. The Phil-LiDAR 1 maps are still available at https://dream.upd.edu.ph.