Flashback: Two years ago, 2015, parts of Zamboanga City came knee-deep in water caused by heavy rains.
Is Zamboanga ready for another flood?
To better prepare communities in Zamboanga for disasters such as flooding, flood hazard maps were created for use by Local Government Units (LGUs) to mitigate effects of climate-related disasters.
On February 16, 2017, during the Ateneo de Zamboanga University-Phil LiDAR 1 Mindanao Cluster Colloquium at Palacio del Sur, this city, the Ateneo-Phil LiDAR 1 will turn over flood hazard maps to the municipalities covering 18 river basins in Zamboanga City, Zamboanga del Norte, and Zamboanga Sibugay. For Zamboanga, the hazard flood maps cover 39 barangays in Tigbao, Vitali, Manicahan, Mercedes, Tumaga, San Jose-Gusu and Limpapa.
Phil LiDAR or Philippines Light Imaging, Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) 1 is a project of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) on Disaster Preparedness and Mitigation, and AdZU Phil LiDAR 1, as a partner implementing institution, was tasked to create flood hazard maps of river basins in the Zamboanga Peninsula.
This year, 2017 marks the end of the Phil LiDAR 1 Project and the responsibility of achieving disaster resiliency is now transferred to the Local Government Units (LGUs) thru the turnover of the project’s final products including the maps. The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Region 9 released a Memorandum Circular enjoining all Local Chief Executives of Phil LiDAR target areas to attend the Colloquium and Map Turn-over.
DOST Sec. Fortunato dela Peña will be present at the colloquium, together with Usec for Research and Development Rowena Cristina Guevarra, PhD, and Usec for Regional Operations Brenda Nazareth-Manzano. Also expected to attend aside from LGUs are regional offices of national agencies, research institutes, academic institutions and non-government organizations.
Also present during the forum will be Dr. Enrico Paringit, program leader of the University of the Philippines Phil LiDAR 1 program who will talk on the use of LiDAR products in achieving resiliency as a nation in the face of changing climate; Mario Rodriguez, AdZU Phil LiDAR 1 project leader; Manuel Luis M. Ochotorena, regional director of the Office of Civil Defense; Dr. Elmeir Apolinario, City DRRM Officer, and Engr. Rodrigo Sicat of the City Planning and Development Office.
Aside from providing the venue for the turnover of the maps and transfer of technology of the project, the Colloquium will also gather the five (5) State Universities, Colleges (SUCs) and Higher Education Institution (HEIs) implementing the Phil LiDAR 1 Project in Mindanao where they will share strategies on disaster preparedness and mitigation and orient LGUs on ways of achieving disaster resiliency in their respective areas of jurisdiction.
With the theme, “Retrospect. Deliver. Realize,” the Colloquium will look back on the experiences of the SUCs and HEIs in delivering the outputs of the project and look forward to realizing the vision of the project to achieve a disaster-resilient Philippines by strengthening the capacity of communities in disaster preparedness and mitigation with the use of LiDAR Products.
Phil LiDAR 1 project leaders from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao will also share how, in their respective areas, they were able to work with the LGUs and provided assistance during calamities. Christopher Uichanco and Engr. Ruby Magturo, from the University of the Philippines-Diliman, will orient the LGUs on how to use the LiDAR Products.