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(L-R) DOE Senior Undersecretary Jesus Cristino P. Posadas; DOE Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi; DOST Undersecretary Renato U. Solidum Jr.; PHIVOLCS Associate Scientist Dr. Maria Leonila P. Bautista/ Credit: Department of Energy, Philippines

(L-R) DOE Senior Undersecretary Jesus Cristino P. Posadas; DOE Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi; DOST Undersecretary Renato U. Solidum Jr.; PHIVOLCS Associate Scientist Dr. Maria Leonila P. Bautista/ Credit: Department of Energy, Philippines

DOE Philippines partners with DOST to enhance energy sectors’ disaster resilience

The Department of Energy (DOE) in the Philippines signed an agreement with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) on 16 March, 2018 for the use of a Filipino-made software to enhance the capacity of all stakeholders in earthquake readiness and improve the energy sector’s resiliency.

Philippines is highly vulnerable to natural calamities, experiencing an average of 20 typhoons per year, flash floods, storm surges, earthquakes and landslides. The magnitude 6.5-earthquake that hit Visayas last year, affecting electricity supply delivery in Leyte, Samar and Bohol, revealed the vulnerability of the country’s energy systems to earthquakes.

The Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) entitled “Capacity Enhancement of the Energy Sector on Hazard, Risk Assessment and Exposure Database Development Through the Use of the Rapid Earthquake Damage Assessment System (REDAS) Software” was signed by DOE Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi and DOST Undersecretary Renato Solidum Jr., and witnessed by DOE Undersecretary Jesus Cristino Posadas and DOST- Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) Associate Scientist Dr. Maria Leonila Bautista.

The MOA outlines the development of database on hazard, risk assessment and exposure to earthquake through the use of the DOST-PHIVOLCS’ REDAS software. The software can be used as a tool for emergency preparedness, contingency planning and mainstreaming disaster risk reduction.

REDAS is a hazard and risk-simulation software, that produces risk maps immediately after the occurrence of a strong, potentially damaging earthquake. It will be helpful in providing quick and near-real-time simulated earthquake hazard information to disaster managers. The managers can then use this information to assess the distribution and extent of the impact on people and assets of a strong earthquake.

The data generated could also provide information and insights enablign better resource management and asset resiliency.

REDAS can be used to compute ground-shaking, earthquake-induced landslides, liquefaction and also tsunamis. Other capabilities of the tool include earthquake sorting capability, generating seismicity maps, onscreen map digitisation and building of database on earthquake hazard risks, as well as wind hazards.

As part of the MOA, DOE and PHIVOLCS would pursue training for the REDAS software and share knowledge and resources for the implementation of the program.

The partnership between the DOE and DOST-PHIVOLCS supports President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive to ensure disaster resilience and it is in line with the recently signed Department Circular No. ‎2018-01- 0001 or the “Adoption of Energy Resiliency in the Planning and Programming of the Energy Sector to Mitigate Potential Impacts of Disasters”, also known as the Energy Resiliency Policy.

The Energy Resiliency Policy aims to unify the energy sector in mainstreaming disaster risk reduction in its plans, programs and activities. The policy seeks to institutionalise disaster resilience in the energy sector through the strengthening of energy systems and facilities, and enabling quick restoration and provision of an alternative power source that will alleviate consumer conditions during emergencies and disasters.

DOE Secretary Cusi said, “It is the mandate of the DOE to ensure that energy services will be available to everyone immediately after an emergency situation. We need all available tools and technologies to enhance our resiliency planning and implementation,”

 “Because of this partnership with PHIVOLCS, more collaborative efforts within the energy sector will result and in the end, it will make the country more competitive,” Secretary Cusi added.  

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