DOST-PAGASA, KOICA to launch cutting-edge flood early warning system

Department of Science and Technology Secretary Renato Solidum Jr. (left) and Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) Country Director Kim Eunsub (right) lead the signing ceremony for the Record of Discussions of the Development of Flood Forecasting and Early Warning System for the Greater Metro Manila and Surrounding Provinces of Laguna Lake Complex for Disaster Mitigation. (Photo Courtesy: Janna Pineda/PIA-NCR) 

QUEZON CITY, (PIA) – The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) on Tuesday, November 21, formalized its partnership with the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) for the development of an integrated flood forecasting and early warning system in a bid to strengthen the country’s disaster preparedness efforts. 

The $12.7 million project, referred to as the ESW4, will be primarily implemented by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) in Greater Metro Manila and surrounding provinces of the Laguna Lake Complex towards the goal of providing timely and accurate flood forecasts.

DOST-PAGASA OIC Dr. Nathaniel Servando gives a welcoming message. (Photo Courtesy: PIA-NCR)

“At DOST-PAGASA, we have always prioritized the development of early warning systems, recognizing the critical role of disaster preparedness and mitigation. Today, we see the realization of a dream–a dream of a robust, integrated flood early warning system that will serve as an operational system for flood forecasting and warning activities,” said DOST-PAGASA Officer-In-Charge Dr. Nathaniel Servando. 

DOST Secretary Renato Solidum Jr. underscored the importance of this joint initiative in the advancement of proactive governance to mitigate the devastating impacts of natural hazards on the lives and livelihood of Filipinos.

DOST Secretary Renato Solidum Jr. expressing his support to the initiative of strengthening the disaster preparedness of Filipinos. (Photo Courtesy: PIA-NCR)

“The flood early warning system we are signing today is not just a technical solution but a lifeline for countless lives. It will enable us to detect and predict floods with greater accuracy and it will provide valuable time for our citizens to take precautionary measures and evacuate safely when necessary,” said Secretary Solidum. 

KOICA Country Director Kim Eunsub meanwhile expressed the commitment of the Korean government to help the Philippines create a disaster-resilient environment for its people by providing the general funding for the ESW4 project. 

KOICA Country Director Kim Eunsub graces the momentous occassion highlighting stronger international cooperation between the Korean government and the Philippines. (Photo Courtesy: PIA-NCR)

“Our EWS4 project marks the continuation of our unwavering support to the Filipino people in their pursuit of a safer and a more secure future. Today, we extend this critical service to millions of people–empowering them to take proactive measures against the impending nature of disasters,” said Kim. 

The basic engineering design of the ESW4 Project alongside its flood forecasting model is set to be completed in 2023 while the installation of the Flood Forecasting and Early Warning System (FFEWS) will be accomplished from 2024 to 2025. 

For its part, the DOST-PAGASA initially conducted testing of communication networks and site scoping activities for the monitoring and warning stations. 

Once the EWS4 is strategically placed in select river basins, it will benefit an approximate number of of 21.4 million residents in the National Capital Region (NCR), particularly the areas of Las Piñas, Taguig, Parañaque, and Muntinlupa,  as well as the provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal. 

Among the stakeholders that will facilitate the development of EWS4 include the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), and concerned local government units (LGUs). 

It can be recalled that the previous early warning systems that were developed through the aid of KOICA became fully operational in 2008 (EWS1), 2012 (EWS2), and 2018 (EWS4), respectively. 

The EWS2 and EWS4, in particular, were placed in Pasig-Marikina River Basin and Pasig-Marikina Tullahan River Basin. 

“As we formally accept this remarkable gift from the Korean government, we recognize the trust and confidence they have placed in us. We accept this responsibility with gratitude knowing that the lives of our citizens and the safety of our communities are at stake,” Solidum added, expressing his high hopes to see the realization of EWS4 in 2026. (PIA-NCR) 

In other News
Skip to content