DOST launches first DRRM Technologies and Innovations Expo in Mindanao

The Department of Science and Technology launches the first DRRM Technologies and Innovations exposition in Mindanao, with the title, “HANDA Pilipinas: Innovations in Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Expo 2023 on October 4, 2023 at Cagayan de Oro City.

Eighty-one technologies from Filipino inventors and innovators throughout the country were presented on display.  These technologies were clustered according to the four thematic areas identified in the National Risk Reduction and Management Plan: Disaster Prevention and Mitigation, Disaster Preparedness, Disaster Response, and Disaster Rehabilitation and Recovery.

Among these technologies is the GeoRiskPH. The GeoRisk Philippines is a multi-agency initiative led by the DOST Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS). The agency has also brought PlanSmart PH, and Seismic Activity Monitoring System. Also displayed was the DOST PAGASA’s Interactive Display Information System, DOST – Industrial Technology Development Institute (ITDI)’s Collapsible Toilet Bowl for Emergency/Disaster Operations, and many more.

Another highlight of the expo are the local technologies from various startups, NGOs, State Universities and Colleges, and local inventors. Among these is the GeoPindot of OBX Solutions, an offline mobile app that allows a citizen to seek help or report a situation to the LGU’s response team.

As enhancing resilience and sustainability in Mindanao is the theme of the event, included in the local exhibit is the multi-awarded startup, Galansiyang Inc, an Iligan City-based startup focused on rehabilitating the forest through the utilization of seed balls dispersed by drone. Another local exhibitor is Rizome Philippines, a company producing bamboo veneers and panel boards from giant bamboos found mostly in Bukidnon and Misamis Oriental.

During the opening ceremony, DOST Secretary Dr. Renato U. Solidum emphasized that there are no natural disasters, only natural hazards. “Earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, tropical cyclones, and even climate change are natural hazards. These are natural phenomena. Disasters may happen because of people’s inaction or inappropriate action on the risks posed by natural hazards.” 

DOST Undersecretary for Regional Operations, Usec. Sancho A. Mabborang, also emphasized that since disasters are not natural, incorporating science, technology, and innovation in the prevention and mitigation will make Filipinos victors and not victims of disasters.

CDO 2nd district representative, Atty. Rufus B. Rodriguez, said in his message of support that he is cognizant of the urgency and cruciality of finding innovative solutions to reduce the (disaster) risks. “Together let us build a stronger, more resilient Mindanao, a region that not only survives but thrives in the face of adversity,” he said.

Also present and was able to give a message of support was Dinagat representative and chair of disaster resilience, Rep. Alan 1 B. Ecleo represented by Atty. Ianne Angel Aquino, and CDO 1st district representative Atty. Lordan Suan, represented by Roberto Ampalayo Jr,

DILG Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr, represented by DILG-X Assistant Regional Director, Yvette T. Sunga, and LGU Cagayan de Oro City Mayor Rolando Uy, represented by Atty. Melanie Mae Cabanlas expressed their support. Also present during the opening ceremony is DOST Undersecretary Teodoro Gatchalian as well as a good number of mayors who expressed support in the achievement of the goals of HANDA Pilipinas.

The opening ceremony, attended by around 660 participants from various regions of the country, was concluded after the pressing of buzzer, DOST’s version of the usual ribbon-cutting ceremony as a signal of the opening of the DRRM expo.

The HANDA Pilipinas is a nationwide event spearheaded by DOST in three main areas: Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. This event is the first DRRM technology exposition in Mindanao. The HANDA Pilipinas expo aims to enhance the country’s resilience by raising awareness in DRR, informing and capacitating the stakeholders and the public on the DRR technologies of DOST and other agencies, and accelerating the practical use of DOST-developed, funded, and supported innovations and technologies.

More information about the event at the DOST 10 Facebook page. (Nova Belle C.Calotes, DOST-X)