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

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.