By Erma Edera
The city government of Manila is willing to spend P20 million to integrate a state-of-the art disaster risk resilience management plan designed by the University of the Philippines System.
Manila Mayor Isko Moreno said this would help update the city’s land-use plan and install advance sensors that could detect flooding.
The disaster risk resilience management plan was designed by the University of the Philippines Resilience Institute (UPRI) which includes the installation of 70 cameras linked to a command center, creation of hazard maps and land use development plans.
“We will put forecasting sensors that could detect the wind, measure the rain and water level in the streets,” UPRI executive director Mahar Lagmay said.
“The sensors are like robots that are talking to each other so that the decision of the Mayor Isko will have a basis. This is the latest and most advanced if not in the country, then in the world,” Lagmay added.
During the first year, UPRI would update the land use and development plan, install sensors, enhance the climate and disaster risk assessment and conduct institutional analysis and system Disaster Risk Reduction and Management development.
On the second year, there would be action planning, capacity building such as emergency simulation and training programs and development of risk communication products.
The Manila chief said this would allow the local government to quickly decide if classes need to be suspended.
Manila installed 275 cameras to establish the backbone of communication in the city in 2014, however, Moreno said the largest command center turned out to be the collection area of the city’s parking bureau.
Moreno said he had no idea how and why that happened because he was a vice mayor then.
According to Moreno’s chief of staff, Cesar Chavez, the new disaster risk resilience management plan would increase the nation’s capital income.
“We don’t have an updated, comprehensive land-use plan which means if you are taxing the area as residential while it is a commercial area, we should have a big profit on that. There are lots of missing profits in the government,” he said.
Chavez also noted that the last land-use plan in Manila was crafted between 2001 and 2002.
“I would rather spend P20 million just to have direction. We pay the price today so the future of our generation will have this new Manila,” Moreno said.