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PIA Press Release
Friday, January 13, 2012


Davao city still keen on manual river watch system

DAVAO CITY Jan. 13 (PIA)-- Though it finds the proposed integrated river watch communications system advocated by ICT Davao very useful, the City Government of Davao still is keen on continuing the manual river watch system.

City Planning and Development head Robert Alabado said that the problem with the sophisticated river watch system is that it costs much to secure the equipment.

“The cost of securing the device is very expensive,” Alabado said.

The four prototype systems installed were looted with only one sensor still functioning. These sensors were fitted with Global Positioning System and GSM for message relay. Once the sensors detect an increase in river level, it will send out an SMS message to warn of the impending danger.

Using this advance warning system, affected residents are warned an hour before a river flashflood could strike their community. The ICT Davao, a group of IT stakeholders in the City is proposing using an online portal which the sensors’ data can be broadcasted over the internet like the social networking sites or on android mobile phones.

Alabado said that hardening the equipment like putting wires, cages and other security costs has made the project costly. “We have to find a device that that is cheaper,” he said.

The current system employed is a manual river watch system in conjunction with the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH). The DPWH deploys personnel to bridges and monitoring points located upstream to measure water levels. This information is then relayed through text messages.

One other plan is exploring a partnership with the PAGASA (Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration), where PAGASA weatherman can train barangay personnel to measure rain thru rain gauges installed in the barangay halls. (PIA/RG Alama)

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