In the Philippines, local government units are empowered to craft executive orders and ordinances for their local residents to ensure the safety and well-being of millions in the face of a disaster is a gargantuan task.
The local government unit of Quezon City, the largest locality in the 16 cities and one municipality in the National Capital Region, carries this task on their shoulders. As home to more than two million inhabitants—add to that day-time population—Quezon City LGU strives to be more efficient in handling disasters.
Servicing and ensuring the welfare of more than two million residents in the city’s 142 barangays is a huge responsibility that is coupled with challenges, especially when the local government unit has no reliable centralized real-time data system covering its entire land area.
Quezon City regularly conducts information drives on various hazards and disasters to its residents. This is to “educate the citizens on how to avoid, address and protect themselves from various hazards and disasters like storm, flood, fire, earthquake and landslide,” it said on its website.
Stepping up public service
Beyond informing citizens, the Quezon City local government aims to step up disaster preparedness and protect its citizens. It wants seamless, end-to-end and integrated response operations at all times. Through this, the city’s existing processes can be enhanced, and this too would allow them to explore a data-driven approach and efficient dissemination to reach stakeholders up to the barangay and citizen level.
Quezon City found an effective partner in Komunidad that led to the development of iRISE-UP, the Quezon City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office’s integrated Information and Communications Technology solution that integrates monitoring systems of the locality’s early warning devices, remote sensors, data loggers and field equipment.
This database system is designed for monitoring of water levels in the rivers and observation of weather parameters such as rainfall amount, temperature, pressure, humidity. I-RISE UP also allows the collection and processing of data from early warning devices, remote sensors, data loggers, and field equipment dedicated to monitoring water levels in the rivers and observation of weather parameters such as rainfall amount, temperature, pressure, and humidity through the use of state-of-the-art Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Technologies and an IP-based public paging and alarm system.
Through this solutions program, Quezon City has been able to tap and utilize a multi-hazard localized early warning system that allows the local government to enable early detection and automatic alerting. Through iRISE-UP, they have also been able to monitor areas not covered by CCTV, improve weather broadcasting capabilities, and implement automated delivery of reports for daily risk analysis.
To bring disaster preparedness down to community level, Komunidad’s system can also be accessed by citizens. At the tip of their fingertips, they can check and use real-time data through a web mobile app.
Komunidad’s pioneering system bagged First Place in Climate Technology For Resilience Award in this year’s “2022 Mga Kwentong KLIMA-likasan Recognition Awards” for the Group Category by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
But more than any award, it is the citizens of Quezon City that ultimately benefits from the more efficient public service that their local government delivers.
Marie Hope Capicenio, of Quezon City’s Emergency Operations Center Manager, has attested to the ease Komunidad’s iRISE UP system brought to their task of cascading information in any location in the city in a timely manner. She said: “This ensures the immediate safety of our QCitizens especially in the event of severe weather and natural disasters.”
Barangay Batasan Hills Kagawan Maricar Mangune echoed Capicencio’s testament on the help they get from iRISE-UP. She added that the system “provides faster tracking of real-time weather forecasts and the information.”
Through this, they at the Batasan Hills can determine “what needs to be done is quickly disseminated to all barangay members and makes the community ready in case of a disaster.”
The experience of Quezon City officials and residents speaks greatly of how an early warning system can help improve public service and better protect the welfare of the people, especially amid disasters. Komunidad aims to help on this, by offering solutions systems that push forth an #EarlyWarningsForAll movement.
Climate Action Awareness
Komunidad’s system will also be used to implement Quezon City’s Climate Action Awareness System (a project by the Disaster Risk Reduction & Management and Climate Change Department). The system is focus on inclusion empowering Households and Individuals with foundational knowledge of Climate Change and steps to live sustainably.
The City will use Komunidad’s Sustainability Suite to implement a holistic climate action mobile app (IOS/Android) for households and individuals to input their scope 1 and scope 2 emissions, analyze and compare their emissions, and get important information about Climate Change and how to live sustainably. The app will be in English-Tagalog language and very simple to understand.
Komunidad will also implement Air Quality Monitoring System and install more than 10 Air Quality Sensors to add to the City’s growing network of environmental monitoring sensors.
“This efficient data production and alert system play a big role in cascading information in any location in Quezon City in a timely manner. This ensures the immediate safety of our QCitizens especially in the event of severe weather and natural disasters.”– Marie Hope Capicenio, Emergency Operations Center Manager
“Having iRiseUP, made a very good impact towards our community as it provides faster tracking of real-time weather forecasts and the information on what needs to be done is quickly disseminated to all barangay members and makes the community ready in case of a disaster.”– Kagawad Maricar Mangune, Brgy. Batasan Hills