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By: Kat Bitao

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Through the aggressive pacing of our technology, we are becoming more and more tied to it. From the moment we open our eyes, we immediately go to check our phones, whether be it for messages or emails. It’s almost impossible to go in a day without using any of the devices all these technological advancements has created.

However, we cannot deny that technology, in numerous aspects, contributes a great effort in alleviating the lives of people. For the past years, there have been mushrooming of technologies regarding environment and risk reduction management, technologies which aim to make people disaster ready.

In line with that, Department of Science and Technology CALABARZON Region has initiated various information systems which the main goal is to allow people to be disaster informed and ready. One of these systems is the Hazard Notification, Dissemination and Awareness or HANDA which was recently adopted by DOST Region 9.

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Last May 4 and 5 of the year 2017, a team from DOST Region 9 along with Mr. Martin Wee, the OIC Regional Director, and Ms. Thelma Diego, the supply officer, visited DOST CALABARZON for a simultaneous activity; ISO 9001:2015 Transition Workshop and Management Information Systems benchmarking. The former was held at the neighboring office at PCAARRD and the latter was at the DOST-CALABARZON Office.

The MIS Unit of DOST CALABARZON presented their in-house developed systems such as TRACE (Tracking, Retrieval, Archiving of Communications for Efficiency), SENTRY (Sensing Environmental Parameters Through Telemetry), HENYO (Harmonize E-Network to Yield Outcomes), RxDeteC, DEWS (Disaster Early Warning System), as well as the backup and Networking of the region.

HANDA, on the other hand, had a full demo, installation, and training spearheaded by Mr. Kevin Brian Paris, the system developer, with DOST Region 9’s Mr. Ronnel Gundoy and Mr. Herson Fernando. Mr. Gundoy told us that their intention was to adopt HANDA as they saw the need of the people in Zamboanga Peninsula to capacitate their disaster communication system. This will enhance dissemination of weather and earthquake bulletins through HANDA’s message blasting feature. Thus, it fosters disaster awareness not only in the local government but also in the community. HANDA will also assist the region in monitoring their locally installed weather stations.

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In addition, Ms. Bianca Josephine Pantoja, the lead developer of TRACE, headed its installation on DOST Region 9 server. Mr. Gundoy said that currently, they have their own system for this, however, it deals more on archiving and storage, unlike TRACE which has notifications for real-time updates.

An updating of ULIMS or Unified Laboratory Information Management System server, which is the harmonized system of DOST for laboratory services, was conducted by Mr. Aris Moratalla of OneLab Project, DOST Region 9. The update dealt with the generation of sample codes from the referral system which in turn will make the generation of reports and accomplishments easier.

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In hindsight, all these systems were created to help not only the people of CALABARZON, but also to reach farther regions in the country. Through the presence of these systems, DOST CALABARZON hopes that it would contribute not only to the technological advancement of the country but as well as making the lives of ordinary Filipinos better.