PAGASA urges Pinoy inventors to develop simple weather apps

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) has urged Filipino inventors develop simple weather applications (apps), and involve their agency in the process/

PAGASA Administrator Vicente Malano it is also important for Pinoy inventors and startup companies PAGASA in their efforts so the information to be shared will be clear and properly understood.”

He assured inventors PAGASA provide them technical help as well as fund assistance from government institutions like the  Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and its attached agencies.

In the 2018 NASA Space Apps Challenge for the development of ISDApp, a Filipino inventors team who calls their team “iNON” won the award in the Best Galactic Impact category.

Their creation, a community-based app provides weather information to fisherfolk without the need for a smartphone or an internet connection.

With use of their invention. Local weather data can become  simplified weather forecasts and transmitted daily via SMS to registered cellphone numbers of fisherfolks to help guide them whether to venture out to the sea or not. The app also enables them to send an SOS message to their community when needed. The system also includes a registered emergency contact number.

Malano, however, said iNON did not consult PAGASA on the development of the ISDApp, and noted that “it is very important to simplify the forecast without changing the message/”

Presently, PAGASA sends warnings via bulletins posted online, as well as via SMS and Viber message to local government units (LGUs).

Malano said PAGASA has also developed its own weather app, called “Payong PAGASA.” The app is currently being upgraded but can be downloaded on Google Play.

He said daily monitoring of rainfall and temperature; weather forecast; rainfall and temperature for specific sites, as well as  accumulated data for the past three days can be accessed from the Payong PAGASA app. Once the upgrading gets completed, more detailed weather forecasts, tropical cyclone advisories and flood warnings can be sourced from it.

The ISDApp was officially launched last January under the joint auspices of Globe Communications, the National Fisheries Research and Development Institute (NFRDI), Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Region IV-A (BFAR IV-A), and the local government of Sariaya, Quezon province.

In support of the Quezon Province’s Disaster Management Teams’ preparation for Tropical Storm Auring, the first tropical cyclone to hit the country last month, 93 fishermen in Sariaya were provided mobile phones.

An average of 20 tropical cyclones visit the country every year. In 2013, the number even hit 23.