DAVAO CITY, Philippines — A group of scientist-activist in the Philippines urged the government to institutionalize Project NOAH or the Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards, a responsive disaster prevention and mitigation system.
In a statement on Wednesday, AGHAM (Advocates of Science and Technology for the People) said that once Project NOAH is institutionalized, it will ensure “that the crucial services it delivers will not be terminated, at the same time securing the absorption of all Project NOAH employees after integration.”
“Programs like Project NOAH which deliver critical functions that are essential in disaster management and ensure public safety should be prioritized and institutionalized by the government,” Finesa Cosico, secretary-general of AGHAM said.
“The project falls under disaster risk reduction, an area which should be considered a social service especially in a climate-change vulnerable country like the Philippines,” she added.
Reports of Project NOAH will be scrapped come March after it was confirmed by Project NOAH Executive Director Mahar Lagmay over the weekend, saying the program will cease to operate due to lack of funds.
Since its inception back in 2012, Project NOAH, according to Cosico, generates vital information used in disaster prevention and mitigation aimed to abate tragedies during natural calamities by releasing early warning of possible disasters such as floods, landslides, storm surges, and others.
“Risk information is very crucial in disaster management and it should be institutionalized along with adaptation strategies and capacity building,” Cosico pointed out.
“The government must heavily invest on technology development and human resources on disaster risk reduction to be able to respond to the threat of the adverse impacts of climate change to our country,” she added.
AGHAM said Project NOAH must be permanently funded by the government and should be integrated as a regular function of a specific agency to have more defined objectives under a comprehensive track.
“We have to ensure that the vital service that Project NOAH provides will not be terminated. We call for the institutionalization of Project NOAH and all its component projects under relevant agencies to ensure the continuation of their service,” Cosico said. (davaotoday.com)