By Danny O. Calleja
LEGAZPI CITY, Sept. 18 (PNA) The Weather Philippines Foundation (WPF) has provided Bicol with eight more sets of Automated Weather Stations (AWS), this time to an equal number of municipalities in the province of Camarines Norte.
Nong Rangasa, the Local Climate Change Adaptation for Development (LCCAD) executive director, on Thursday here said the new AWS were recently installed in the Camarines Norte municipalities of Basud, Capalonga, Daet, Labo, Mercedes, Paracale, Santa Elena and Talisay.
These municipalities were among the 64 areas in Bicol listed by WPF as meteorological sites that it has included as priority to its support in disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation programs that local government units have embraced, Rangasa said.
This number, the LCCAD head said, is part of the roughly 1,000 AWS devices that the foundation is providing across the country to deliver critical and accurate weather forecasts to the Filipino community, in the hope of improving nationwide disaster preparedness, and timely response to variable weather conditions.
LCCAD is a climate change adaptation arm of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) that forged a partnership with the WPF in the implementation of the project across the country.
WPF is a private, non-profit organization that puts together the resources of Aboitiz Group and the technical expertise of Meteomedia, a Swiss company, into this project.
Rangasa said the award of the AWS to Camarines Norte towns held over the week was preceded by a web portal training provided by LCCAD and WPF to Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) and public information officers as well as municipal administrators of the recipient local government units (LGUs).
Using funds secured from AP Renewables Inc. (APRI), through its parent organization Aboitiz Power which allowed it to carry on with its mission to aid in disaster risk reduction for years, Rangasa said WPF plans to finish installing its target number of AWS devices nationwide and to operate its weather forecasting portal for the next ten years.
Chosen as among the priority regions for the installation of these state-of-the-art weather forecasting stations is Bicol, with Albay and Catanduanes as first beneficiarieseach provided three AWS installed in equal number of municipalities that are strategically positioned to cover weather monitoring for the whole of each province.
Rangasa said that for Albay, the municipalities where the weather stations now operate are Libon, Tiwi and Rapu-Rapu while in Catanduanes, the towns are Caramoran, San Andres and San Miguel.
"Since Albay, Catandunes and Camarines Norte are located along the path usually being followed by typhoons emanating from the Pacific Ocean, it is just wise that these provinces are made priority beneficiaries of these weather monitoring equipment from WPF," according to Rangasa.
These equipment, he said, form part of the advocacy being pursued by LCCAD and WPF towards the formulation of Local Climate Change Action Plans (LCCAPs) through complementary partnership with the Local Government Academy of the DILG (LGA-DILG) training workshops that are conducted by batches all over the country.
Rangasa said all municipalities, especially those that have completed their training-workshop for the formulation of LCCAP, are entitled to receive the AWS as an incentive because this plan is a vital capacity-building mandate of the LGA-DILG.
An AWS is a modern, easy-to-operate and maintain weather instrument that senses global radiation (solar), wind direction, wind speed, temperature, pressure, rainfall and precipitation with live computerized real time feed at the WPF website accessible to all.
These instruments are the basis for the forecast of weather conditions wherein super computers at the WPF headquarters in Taguig, Metro Manila, and Switzerland process the information coming from the weather stations.
According to Rangasa, these weather stations are given free to the LGUs in order to prepare them for climate change adaptation-based policies for their respective projects that complete their climate change adaptation on top of Disaster Risk and Vulnerability Reduction (DRVR) response mechanisms. (PNA)