Globe Telecom, Inc., iNON IT Solutions, and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resouces (BFAR) are set to launch this quarter the mobile community application that will allow fisherfolks to have access to useful, timely weather information.
Called ISDApp, the information system was developed by iNON IT Solutions and powered by Globe in partnership with BFAR Region IV-A and the local government of Sariaya in Quezon, which was selected as the pilot community for the project.
iNON IT Solutions is the first Filipino team to win in the NASA Space Apps Challenge in October 2018, with ISDApp as their entry.
The company was awarded as the Global Winner in the Galactic Impact category, besting four other finalists, and thousands of teams around the world.
During the early stages of its development, ISDApp garnered support from the Animo Labs of DLSU and the Embassy of the United States in the Philippines. It eventually led to a partnership with Globe.
The ISDApp collects localized weather data, converts it to simplified weather forecasts, and sends it to the registered mobile numbers of fisherfolks via scheduled daily SMS, which includes the crucial hours before they go out to sea.
This app, according to Globe, will help fisherfolks plan their trips to the sea, even without a smartphone or an internet connection.
The launch was primarily a joint initiative between the National Fisheries Research and Development Institute (NFRDI) and Globe, with Mudjekeewis Santos, Scientist IV, serving as its focal person.
The NFRDI is the main research arm of BFAR. It ensures sustainable national fisheries through research and development and aims to raise the income of fishermen.
“With the country having more than 20 typhoons and tropical depressions every year, we are hopeful that ISDApp will serve as an added tool to aid our fishermen before they set sail. The technology will inform them of the latest weather data and the timely sending of alerts can help ensure their safety,” Yoly Crisanto, Globe senior vice president for corporate communications, said.
To use the app, a community leader will act as the Community Controller and will install ISDApp on his/her smartphone, which will then generate a unique ISDApp community number.
Fisherfolks in the area can then register via SMS for free and start receiving weather forecasts several times a day
The ISDApp weather forecast includes the date and time of the forecast, a simplified explanation of the weather condition, and some tips or reminders.
“Information dissemination is very important in rural areas, especially to our fishing communities. With their limited access to sources of information and resources to announce relevant advisories, ISDApp will provide weather forecasts and data in real-time which will be made accessible to underserved communities,” said Regional Director Sammy Malvas of BFAR Region IV-A.
“In light of the recent typhoons, the importance of timely alerts is very apparent now more than ever,” he added.
The pilot community, which will use ISDApp, is composed of 300 fisherfolks from seven coastal barangays in Sariaya, Quezon.