DOST’s flood-hazard map, to aid in disaster management

admin   •   March 31, 2016   •   4293

Map visualization of the flood-prone areas using DOST's Light Detection and Ranging System (LIDAR).

Map visualization of the flood-prone areas using DOST’s Light Detection and Ranging System (LIDAR).

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has mapped out 50% of the countries flood hazard areas using the Light Detection and Ranging System or LIDAR of the DREAM Program.

Residents of flood-prone areas can now be alerted much earlier with the help of flood-hazard map made by DOST.

Using LIDAR of the DREAM project, around 486 flood-prone municipalities have been mapped in detail.

“The resolution of these images is 15cm per pixel. You can see all houses, trees and cars,” said Dr. Carlos Primo David, Executive Director of Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development.

DOST said, they can now identify the level of preparedness to be done in a certain area depending on the amount of rainfall.

Primary river basins like Cagayan, Pampanga and Marikina are among the areas covered by the mapping.

This will also be useful for people looking to buy property because the map is available on the LiDAR website.

DOST said, the government has saved a lot with LiDAR compared to purchasing images from other sources.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) has previously announced that more flooding scenario may happen during the wet season if La Niña phenomenon occurs as predicted by other climate models.

(UNTV News)

Local inventor, DOST to develop disinfection unit for COVID-19

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 26, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — A local inventor and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) are developing a disinfection unit for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Engr. Elpidio M. Paras, inventor and CEO of Parasat Cable TV, handed over his innovation to the DOST. The project aims to help healthcare frontliners to conserve Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

Paras’ innovation called the Parazap is a portable ultraviolet room disinfection unit that is electrically operated. The machine consists of two sets of UV-C germicidal lamps that can accommodate up to 10 N95 masks in one cycle.

“The device is designed to disinfect PPEs specifically N95 masks, killing almost 99% of microorganisms by means of exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation,” according to the media release of the DOST.

“In partnership with Engr. Paras, the DOST through its Regional Standards and Testing Laboratories (RSTL) and COVID-19 Response Disinfection Team will assess and evaluate the efficiency of the equipment through testing of N95 masks for growth of available microorganism stock cultures before and after treatment in the UV-C chamber,” the DOST added.

Meanwhile, the DOST is also in need of respirator and ventilator parts for COVID-19 patients. According to DOST Secretary Fortunato T. de la Peña, ventilators in small hospitals are depleting.

“Lalong humirap ang pag-import ng ventilator kasi nag-aagawan ng supply, (Importing ventilators is getting more difficult because there is competition for supply),” he said.

Two prototypes of 3D-printed ventilator parts and respirator Venturi valves were already turned over by DOST-Industrial Technology Development Institute (DOST-ITDI) to the National Children’s Hospital in Quezon City.

De la Peña said they will proceed with mass production once the prototypes work well in the first recipients. AAC

IATF approves Phl participation in COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials

Maris Federez   •   May 24, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Upon the recommendation of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) has approved the proposed participation of the Philippines in clinical trials that seek to formulate a potential vaccine against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Based on IATF Resolution No.39 dated May 22, 2020, the task force has also ordered the creation of a sub-technical working group which will be led by the DOST.

The group will be coordinating with the four collaborating organizations composed of the Department of Health (DOH), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM), and the World Health Organization (WHO) with regard to the said clinical trials.

The IATF has also issued a directive to the FDA to facilitate the processing of necessary permits for the conduct of the clinical trials in the country.

The collaborating organizations for the clinical trials are the Adimmune Corporation, Academia Sinica, Chinese Academy of Science- Guangzhou Institute of Biomedicine and Health, the Sinopharm – Wuhan Institute of Biological Products, and the Beijing Institute.

Once the clinical trials are undertaken, these will be included in the FDA’s requirements for the registration process for the vaccine and the application for certificate of registration to make the vaccine available in the market.

The Philippines has initially participated in the WHO’s clinical trials, which include the testing of off-label drugs that show potential of being effective against COVID-19.

Meanwhile, the IATF has also approved the plans of the DOST to construct research centers for the local vaccine research development.

These include the Virology S&T Institute at the New Clark City in Tarlac and the reactivation of the Pharmaceutical Development Unit of the DOST-Industrial Technology Development Institute. —(from the report of Rosalie Coz) /mbmf

Typhoon Ambo adds 3 meters to Angat Dam’s reserve

Marje Pelayo   •   May 17, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The water level in Angat Dam has improved in the aftermath of Typhoon Ambo in Luzon.

According to the latest reading by the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), the weather system has added 3.09 meters of water to Angat Dam’s reserve from 187.53 meters on May 15 to 190.62 meters on 6:00 am, Sunday (May 17).

Angat’s water level is now 10 meters over its normal operating level of 180 meters.

Last week, the National Water Resources Board (NWRB) has increased domestic allocation to Metro Manila from Angat Dam to 48 cubic meters per second from 46 cubic meters per second to maintain enough supply on the duration of the government-imposed community quarantine in view of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis. –MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

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