Coron town has been selected as the pilot area of a stable early detection and warning system for impending floods with the incorporation of aviation and maritime communication technologies.
Futuristic Aviation and Maritime Enterprise (FAME), Inc. chief executive officer Arcelio Fetizanan Jr. said Friday that their transponder technology is equipped with hydrometeorological sensors such as the Automated Rain Gauge (ARG) and the Water-level Monitoring Stations (WLMS) for flood monitoring in certain critical sites.
FAME offers a wireless, low-power and telco-independent technology called a Long-range wide area network (LoRaWan).
Fetizanan said that collected data from the transformer are sent wirelessly via cellular sites, like a text message, to the Department of Science and Technology (DOST)-developed central server that can traverse even the most isolated places in the region.
“Itong technology na ito ay made-detect niya ang level ng tubig sa isang critical area. Siya na rin ang magte-text kung ano ang update sa isang lugar, ina-allow niya na makapag-transmit tayo ng data from digital and analog sensors to the gateway via radio frequencies without any telco connectivity,” he said.
He also said that the gateway being used is able to penetrate large obstruction such as mountain range and can be installed numerously to effectively route the signals to the central server.
Moreover, this technology allows government agencies like NDRRMC to send messages to the public without relying to the present conditions of cellular signals.
Engr. Fernando Lopez, municipal disaster risk reduction management officer (MDDRMO) of Coron, said they are expecting that the technology will help them boost their disaster-related responsiveness.
He said that the transponder has been put up in Labangan River Bridge 1 that overflows during the rainy season and no way to alert them on the status of the water level.
“Nahirapan ang MDRRMO para i-monitor kung gaano na kataas ang level ng tubig kapag may mga bagyo lalo na at may mga community doon. Ang ginagawa ng mga responders natin, kahit masama na ang panahon ay pumupunta sila, minsan nga kapag talagang masama ang panahon ay doon lang sila para malaman kung i-evacuate na ang mga tao o hindi,” he said.
“Hopefully, maging maganda siya and, of course, thankful tayo. Hindi lang naman siya nagme-message sa DRR offices kundi pati sa mga barangay officials ay puwede rin,” he added.
DOST mainly identified critical sites for the project such as far-flung areas, intermittent cellular signal to no signal at all.
The same technology will also be put up at Baco and Villa Cerveza in Oriental Mindoro; Tanyag Calintaan and Batong Buhay Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro.
Initial site identification has been made by the DOST in cooperation with the Office of the Civil Defense and selected LGUs in the region. Recently, the Department of Science and Technology-MIMAROPA (DOST-MIMAROPA) Regional Director Dr. Ma. Josefina Abilay signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Futuristic Aviation and Maritime Enterprise (FAME).