Quantcast

Editorial

A smarter people


Talk about the best of both worlds. Filipinos are well-known for their adherence to old-world tradition and their capability to innovate for new-school thinking. Most timely and commendable then is the new government program, fittingly named “Smarter Philippines,” to push science and technology (S&T) for the population’s greatest benefit.

According to Science Secretary Mario Montejo, the program is the Department of Science and Technology’s “trademark for the next five years,” and is “anchored tightly on the DOST’s goal of using S&T to improve the quality and productivity of every Filipino’s life.” The program puts emphasis on locally developed, technology-oriented solutions to many longstanding problems.

On Wednesday, the DOST will formally launch Smarter Philippines in Davao City, highlighting some of its ongoing projects: Project Noah (Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards) and its major component, the Disaster Risk Exposure and Assessment for Mitigation-Light Detection and Ranging (Dream-Lidar) flood forecasting system; the Integrated Government Philippine (iGovPhil) project, which is designed to connect all of the government’s systems; and the Smarter Farms and Smarter Healthcare projects. The others are the P350-million Advanced Device and Materials Testing Laboratory (Admatel) and the experimental Automated Guideway Transit (AGT) mass-transit project.

Particularly noteworthy is that the program covers such critical areas as healthcare, disaster mitigation and agriculture—only three aspects of Philippine reality that, in their current state, serve to pin the country in the dark age.

The most high-profile of the Smarter Philippines initiatives is Project Noah, which has had a meaningful impact on the lives of Filipinos. Project Noah seeks to provide the public the most accurate and up-to-date information on possible flooding using an interactive website and various components. Learning from the devastation wrought by Tropical Storm “Ondoy” in 2009, the DOST developed and employed its new automated rainfall and flood predictions systems last year. Project Noah was able to predict floods in August, allowing the Marikina City government to evacuate its constituents. “As Marikina has shown, the concept works. Filipino technology works. We have proven it. We were effective in giving the advisory,” said Enrico Paringit, who heads Project Noah’s flood hazard mapping component. Through the Dream-Lidar system, the project’s staff members accurately predicted the Marikina River’s flooding; they put the system to work next on the Agno and Pampanga rivers.

Project Noah not only coordinates with local government units but also makes the information readily available on its website. Now, LGUs listen when Project Noah talks—a triumphant example of Filipino science smarts saving lives.

Another project worth keeping track of is the AGT train system set to be built in Bicutan, Taguig City. It is a P40-million joint venture between the DOST and the Taguig government and is expected to help meet the transportation needs of a continuously growing public on the move. The DOST has a prototype running on a 465-meter elevated track in the Diliman campus of the University of the Philippines. The AGT prototype costs only a fifth of what it will cost to buy a foreign-made train, Montejo says. “Why is it cheaper? It’s like using generic against branded,” he says.

Smarter Philippines will also serve to display the innovation and brain power of Filipino scientists and experts, who have time and again held their own on the world stage. (Only last month, Filipino students won 11 silver medals at the 14th International Robot Olympiad in South Korea, just the most recent of many international honors S&T-minded Filipinos have received.)

This is just the beginning, promises Montejo. “We will brandish world-class products and processes that are conceptualized by local talents and experts and developed using local technologies.” Indeed, Smarter Philippines is a perfect opportunity to showcase Filipino ingenuity and how science and technology can positively impact the lives of others where and when it matters. It’s deserving of all support, both public and private.


Follow Us


Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


More from this Column:

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Short URL: http://opinion.inquirer.net/?p=47499

Tags: DOST , editorial , opinion , project noah , science and technology , Smarter Philippines



Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
Advertisement

News

  • Retired SC justice Lorenzo Relova; 98
  • Ligots fight 2nd forfeiture case
  • PH will be partly cloudy in afternoon, evening—Pagasa
  • Ex-COA chief nabbed for plunder
  • John Paul relics abound: Bloodied shirt, unwashed fork…
  • Sports

  • Sharapova advances to Stuttgart quarterfinals
  • Galedo caps ride of redemption
  • Beermen, Express dispute second semis slot today
  • Lady Agilas upset Lady Bulldogs in four sets
  • NLEX roars to 7th D-League win
  • Lifestyle

  • ‘Recovered’ Banksy works on display ahead of sale
  • Marinduque: Visiting the ‘palm of the ocean’
  • First at Vatican in 60 years
  • How Jing Monis Salon gave Krissy the pixie
  • Want to be a supermodel? Work on your inner beauty, says Joey Espino
  • Entertainment

  • Kristoffer Martin: from thug to gay teen
  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Cris Villonco on play adapted from different medium
  • OMB exec’s assurance: We work 24/7
  • Business

  • PAL hailed for ban on shark fin cargo
  • BSP to change tint of P100 bill
  • Nielsen sees car buying boom in the Philippines
  • How author of best-seller exposed ‘one percent’ economic elite
  • Bangko Sentral readies new bank lending rules
  • Technology

  • Cloud strength helps Microsoft earnings top Street
  • Vatican announces hashtag for April 27 canonizations
  • Enrile in Masters of the Universe, Lord of the Rings?
  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • Opinion

  • Editorial Cartoon, April 25, 2014
  • No deal, Janet
  • Like making Al Capone a witness vs his gang
  • MERS-CoV and mothers
  • A graduation story
  • Global Nation

  • Only 4 Etihad passengers not accounted for
  • Abandoned in Malta,15 PH seamen return
  • Senator hopes PH will also get same vow
  • HK victims to get P115M; traders raised money
  • Afghan hospital guard kills 3 US doctors, including Fil-Am pediatrician
  • Marketplace