MANILA – A lawmaker on Wednesday called for the revival of Project NOAH, a hazard and risk monitoring program under the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), following successive typhoons devastating the country.
Speaking to ANC’s “Matters of Fact,” Albay 2nd District Rep. Joey Salceda said it was time to bring the Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards (NOAH) back to the “mainstream”.
“What I support is the reversion of Project NOAH as a mainstream tool or institution of the national government under the DOST or under the proposed Department of Disaster Resilience,” he said.
Project NOAH, which was credited with developing systems for mapping and forecasting floods, storm surges, landslides and other natural hazards, was shut down in 2017 due to lack of funds.
It was later adopted by the University of the Philippines (UP) as a research center for climate actions and disaster risk reduction and management. It is now called UP NOAH Center and integrated under the UP Resilience Institute.
“I am all for, not just, it is there under the UP Resilience Institute, but I'd rather mainstream again the Project NOAH,” Salceda said.
This, after the House Committee on Disaster Resilience on Tuesday adopted a resolution declaring a disaster and climate emergency in the country.
The Salceda-authored House Resolution 535 calls for “a whole-of-government, whole-of-society and whole-of-nation policy response to anticipate, halt, reduce, reverse, address and adapt to its impacts, consequences and causes.”
The Albay lawmaker said the government should conduct a nationwide climate risk assessment against the threat of climate change, and making local governments and communities resilient from the crisis.
“We don’t want to reach a point where the effects of climate change are irreversible. We need action. If you say declaration of climate emergency, that tells you, you have to do something,” he said in a mix of Filipino and English.
In a press briefing on Nov. 16, President Rodrigo Duterte's spokesman said he could not remember what Project NOAH was about when asked if there were plans of reviving the system.
Project NOAH trended on Twitter last week as floods from Typhoon Ulysses inundated parts of Luzon.