Jam Salazar | March 15, 2018
For every catastrophic typhoon in the Philippines, an estimate of 958 fathers, mothers, and children die. During the Typhoon Yolanda alone, the country has spent about P10 billion in disaster recovery. This is mostly because of the lack of access to weather information and lack of awareness regarding weather conditions’ impact. In 2012, this is what prompted the Aboitiz Group to establish WeatherPhilippines Foundation.
As we go with the #WeatherWiser campaign, we try to engage on efforts that will transform local government units (LGUs) into disaster-resilient communities. We have tapped different organizations and partners to help us achieve our goal.
Through the collaboration of WeatherPhilippines and Pilipinas Shell Foundation, Inc. (PSFI), our #WeatherWiser campaign was able to tap the Municipal Disaster Risk and Reduction Management Office (MDRRMO) of Coron, Palawan.
After participating in our Weather 101 and Tropical Cyclone 101 trainings, the local government of Coron reported improvements in the way they do disaster risk and monitoring, especially in terms of weather resilience.
“After the training, we are now utilizing the localized weather forecast, particularly for air navigators, farmers, fishermen, and tourist-related activities,” said Engr. Fernando A. Lopez of Coron MDRRMO. According to him, using the localized weather forecast, they are able to apply the knowledge they acquired from WeatherPhilippines’ trainings for the sustainable development of their internal and external stakeholders.
According to Engr. Lopez, they optimize the accurate and localized data from WeatherPhilippines by posting the information in their different social media channels such as the Coron MDRRMO Facebook page. Aside from this, they are closely coordinating with the Coastguard Station and barangay officials to disseminate weather information, especially when there are severe weather alerts issued by WeatherPhilippines’ meteorologists.
According to Coron MDRRMO, we have changed their day-to-day activities, weather-wise. The MDRRMO officer shared that their continuous monitoring of WeatherPhilippines’ weather updates made them more aware of the weather system that will affect their area for the next few days. “We are able to apply it to processes such as farmers’ cropping pattern adjustment and scheduling of fishing or tourism activities like diving and island hopping,” said Engr. Lopez.
The Coron MDRRMO said that they are looking into the application of our weather data into more areas other than livelihood and tourism in Coron. “Four to five years from now, we are expecting more AWS stations installed and integrated into our system, as well as education of more people and different sectors about weather data interpretation and application,” said Engr. Lopez.
Coron, Palawan’s MDRRMO make up part of the 5,096 capacity-building beneficiaries that we have tapped, to date.