Congressman Jerry P. Treñas
The development of our antiquated and inefficient weather monitoring systems is a must in order to prevent tragedies and wide-spread destruction brought about by severe weather disturbances. I am thus grateful to the joint efforts of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and Smart Telecommunications to establish a Weather Monitoring System in the Tigum-Aganan River System.
Through the combined efforts of Smart and DOST, 5 automatic rain gauges and 3 automatic water level sensors will be deployed along the Tigum-Aganan River System, allowing the DOST to monitor the amount of rainfall in Iloilo City as well as in 5 other municipalities. The deployment of these sensors and gauges will enable the government to prepare and immediately respond to heavy flooding due to unabated rainfall.
The catastrophes of recent past must not be ignored. Iloilo City suffered from heavy damage due to the onslaught caused by Typhoon Frank in 2008. A good portion of Metro Manila was under water during Ondoy in 2009. In the previous year, Typhoon Pedring caused massive flooding in Central Luzon. The recent devastation in Cagayan de Oro and Iligan caused by Sendong proves that the government is still ill-prepared to respond to extreme weather disturbances.
The government must therefore prioritize the deployment of necessary equipment which could accurately predict weather in order to avoid the damaging and lethal effects of natural disasters regularly experienced by our country. The public-private initiative of DOST and Smart to implement the Weather Monitoring System project in the Tigum-Aganan River System is a commendable project which will definitely aid us in preparing for the coming typhoons and heavy rains.