PILI, Camarines Sur, May 1 (PIA) After almost 4 decades, the public finally witnessed the inauguration and blessing of the rehabilitated Bicol River Basin Flood Forecasting and Warning System (FFWS) at the vicinity of the Central Bicol State University of Agriculture (CBSUA), April 30, Tuesday here.
Under the Programme for the Improvement of Capabilities to Cope with Natural Disasters caused by Climate Change, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST)-Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services (PAGASA), requested for the refurbishment of the almost-dilapidated and outdated devices and monitoring equipment, rainfall and other water level gauges installed at the old flood forecasting center located inside the CBSUA campus.
Yes, after 39 years, the rehabilitation was made possible through the aid given by Japan International Agency (JAICA). JAICA has been a major contributor to the projects of PAGASA and also PHILVOLCS and they have been very consistent with their support, DOST Secretary Fortunato Dela Pena expressed during the inaugural ceremony and blessing of the Bicol River Basin FFWS while emphasizing that the wear-and-tear of the electro-mechanical component of the system can no longer be pushed beyond its intended lifespan.
PAGASA Administrator Dr. Vicente Malano said that the technical and state- of-the-art rehabilitation of the system, which serves as early warning device and system for flood will result to a more effective and relevant flood forecasting and warning activities.
Malano expounded that the Bicol River Basin Rehabilitation Project presents not just the improvement of the existing network of monitoring the hydrological conditions but also the expansion of real-time data monitoring facilities that will provide a full level of observations throughout the whole basin.
He also extended his gratitude to the government of Japan for their unwavering support and commitment in helping Filipinos to prepare and eventually minimize catastrophes.
One of the highlights of the momentous event is the unveiling of the marker that speaks of the collaboration and friendship between the Philippine government and the people of Japan.
Key government officials who were there to witness the event aside from Sec. Dela Pena and Dr. Malano are USEC for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Dr. Renato U. Solidum Jr., former Vice Governor of Cam Sur and currently Camarines Sur Provincial Administrator Fortunato Pena, Minister for Economic Affairs-Embassy of Japan Makoto Iyori and CBSUA President Dr. Alberto Naperi. (LSMacatangay-PIAV/Camarines Sur)