SONA 2013: The Project Noah
Technology is not only for comfort, but also for prevention and security.
I wasn’t able to watch the full SONA of our honorable President Benigno S. Aquino III that was held last July 22, 2013, but instead, I read the full text version. In his fourth SONA I did not miss to notice that before he ended his speech he stressed out several times that this SONA is not his, but our SONA. Although it is intended for the public in the first place, saying it with such sincerity is a different thing, it gave assurance and hope to Filipinos that his achievements while on his term is not his alone, that each one of us has our own contribution to it.
In his speech I have identified at least two ICT related projects. The first one was about the Project Noah. President Aquino mentioned that this project came to exist for the protection and benefit of all Filipinos, particularly the protection and prevention regarding disasters and other natural calamities. This project, as I have thoroughly researched it, will harness technologies and management services for disaster risk reduction activities offered by the DOST through PAGASA, PHIVOLCS, and the DOST-Advanced Science and Technology Institute (ASTI), in partnership with the UP National Institute of Geological Sciences and the UP College of Engineering.
But what really is Project Noah? And what are the components behind it? This project is the response to President Aquino’s call to a more accurate, integrated, and responsive disaster prevention and mitigation system, especially to determine the high-risk areas throughout the Philippines. This project is a technology-based system and it has the following components:
- Distribution of Hydrometeorological devices in hard-hit areas in the Philippines
- Disaster risk exposure assessment for mitigation – light detection and ranging project
- Enhancing geohazards mapping through LIDAR
- Coastal hazards and storm surge assessment and mitigation
- Flood information network project
- Local development of Doppler Radar Systems
- Landslide Sensors Development Project
- Weather Hazard Information Project
How Can Project Noah Improve the Quality of Life?
As we can see, the Project Noah isn’t an ordinary project. It’s a big ICT project that could save thousands of lives from natural disasters. Not only lives can be saved, but also the businesses and physical assets of the country. Though this project isn’t yet completely done, we can already see that this will help a lot in disaster prevention. Let us face the fact that a lot of Filipinos die when there are strong storms, landslides, and floods, especially those people who are residing at very mountainous areas. We have lots of casualties especially in Manila when there’s a heavy flood. Students are at risk when heavy storms appear. Families are traumatized and some even lost their beloved houses whenever a typhoon is coming their way—not to mention that a person might have died. Business transactions are cancelled and businesses are at minimal profit typhoon after typhoon. But since the Project Noah was launched, we can see that little by little, our problems and fears about deaths and disasters are diminishing. Technology, therefore, is not only for us to have an easier, comfortable life, but technology is also there so that we can use it to our own advantage and safeties. Technology is not only for comfort, but also for prevention and security.
Ever since this Project Noah was launched, a lot of rain gauges are installed especially in the most vulnerable locations. And by the end of this year there will be at least 400 water level monitoring stations that will provide a better picture of the Philippines’ surface water in relation to flooding. Through this, flooding in the country can be carefully monitored and can easily signal the residents every time there is upcoming danger alert. Residents have much time to prepare their important things and evacuate immediately to a much safer place. Project Noah also uses LIDAR technology and computer-assisted analysis, of which will be completed by December next year. This helps to identify exact prone areas to landslides and thus, alert the residents around that area.
From the time Project NOAH was launched, a total of 525 automated water level monitoring stations and automated rain gauges have been installed in 18 major river basins throughout the country. We also continue to modernize our weather detection technology, with Doppler radars, tsunami detectors, and alerting sirens. – President Benigno S. Aquino III
Using this Project Noah, they can accurately predict the rainfall and can provide correct and timely warnings, therefore, the communities can prepare themselves accordingly. The major aim of this project is, after all, to SAVE LIVES. I believe that this project can do better than that, and in the near future, we will see more happy faces, more investors, and more tourists. Business will become better and better. Traffics caused by floods can be prevented and thus, making the business and daily tasks as smooth as possible. No longer will we suffer from tremendous loss of lives, no longer will we suffer from heavy traffic and transaction failures. In this way, the quality of life is therefore improved.
SONA 2013: Integrated Transport System
Heavy traffic means economic loses. Less traffic means more business!
In President Aquino’s fourth SONA, he also mentioned another ICT related project. It’s about the Integrated Transport System in Manila. Heavy traffics? No way, the President is doing his best to minimize this problem in as much as possible. Patience? Yes, we all need that. Projects like this are not done within a blink of an eye, alright.
We all know that Manila is a crowded place, like any other capitals of the world, much less in ours however. According to President Aquino, our economy loses an estimated 2.4 billion pesos every day because of Metro Manila traffic—wow, a big, big amount of loss, isn’t it? In order to prevent more economic loses, and in order to improve the traffic that may cause failures of other areas of our lives, Integrated Transport System came to light.
The project aims to maximize road usage by reducing vehicle volume and improving traffic flow along Metro Manila’s major thoroughfares, particularly in EDSA. They also aim to eliminate provincial bus traffic within Metro Manila, thus they do not add to the congestion, providing a smoother traffic than ever before.
Through Integrated Transport System, LIFE and BUSINESS becomes easier. If the traffic problems can be lessened, it only means that business is increasing. Heavy traffic means economic loses. Less traffic means more business!
That’s how this project can improve the quality of life of every Filipino citizen! Well, if there are more business because of this less traffic, then our economy will increase! Our country will become rich in no time—okay, wait, that’s exaggeration.