IBM putting up multi-million disaster control hub for PH gov?t

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Technology titan IBM is now putting the finishing touches on a multi-million disaster mitigation center that it will turn over to the Philippine government via the Information and Communications Technology Office of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).

(L-R, seated): DOST secretary Mario Montejo, Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa, and IBM Philippines president and country general manager Mariels Almeda Winhoffer sign the memorandum of agreement to "create a more responsive computer platform for disaster response". Among the witnesses were DOST undersecretary Louis Casambre (middle, second row),IBM Philippines R&D executive Delfin Jay Sabido (second from left) and chief technology officer Lope Doromal (rightmost). Photo by Henry A. de Leon, DOST-STII
(L-R, seated): DOST secretary Mario Montejo, Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa, and IBM Philippines president and country general manager Mariels Almeda Winhoffer sign the memorandum of agreement to “create a more responsive computer platform for disaster response”. Among the witnesses were DOST undersecretary Louis Casambre (middle, second row),IBM Philippines R&D executive Delfin Jay Sabido (second from left) and chief technology officer Lope Doromal (rightmost). Photo by Henry A. de Leon, DOST-STII

The facility, known as the Intelligent Operations Center (IOC), is located at the ICT Office in Diliman, Quezon City.

The memorandum of agreement for the endowment was signed last December 12, 2013 at the National Engineering Center in UP Diliman. Executive Secretary Paquito ?Jojo? Ochoa Jr. and DOST secretary Mario G. Montejo signed the agreement with IBM Philippines president and country general manager Mariels Almeda Winhoffer.

Others present during the signing were DOST Undersecretary Louis Casambre of ICT Office, Dr. Jay Sabido of IBM Philippines, Dr. CP David of Project Noah-Climate X, and officers of IBM Philippines

?The agreement we have forged with IBM Philippines is another milestone for us in master planning technology programs and enabling super computers to create solutions to problems. I thank IBM for being bullish or should I say excited for the super computer that will enhance weather forecasting, climate change adaptation and response to disasters,? Montejo remarked during the signing.

Montejo said the DOST will be able to maximize its use of the IOC, citing the computer as the engine of application that can be used not only for disaster management but in other areas that will benefit the various sectors of society.

For its part, Winhoffer stressed the importance of the partnership as a step towards helping solve problems using technology to support the shared vision for Filipinos to have a better life.

?IBM Philippines is equally thankful for being given the opportunity to offer its services and seeing through what Secretary Montejo envisions to become a reality. IBM will set the foundation and the framework in finding ways to help the people of the Philippines. This is not just about a government program but about a country?s future,? said Winhoffer.

Lope Doromal, chief technology officer of IBM Philippines, said the IOC will help in increase the awareness and the sharing of information to stakeholders using the geographical information system or GIS.

?Some of the advantages of the IOC include the integration of the CCTV cameras into the system where monitoring in real time in specific locations is possible. We can maximize the use of social media as our eyes and ears with Twitter feeds. The data we gather can also be integrated with Project Noah. Lastly, GPS (global positioning system) data can be used for tracking purposes in real-time like identification of schools by DepEd or hospitals by DOH,? explained Doromal.

In terms of emergency management, Doromal said the IOC will provide advanced collaboration, analytics, and asset management tools to help different agencies in coordinating disaster management effort by integrating all data gathered from various sources.

Also, an integrated communications system is incorporated in the system with ICT Office as the data center in Manila that can be linked to the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC), as well as to mobile units, laptop computers and remote communications platforms like VHF/UHF, radio gateways, and VPN routers. — Rodolfo P. de Guzman, DOST-STII

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