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Advancing life-saving skills through DOST’s innovative efforts

Disasters are very destructive and, more often than not, can cost the lives of people, animals, livelihoods, and properties.

Hence, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) introduced disaster-related technologies and innovations, complementing these with orientations and training to equip frontline personnel from national and local governments, including schools, with the necessary skills to prevent the loss of many lives.

The DOST-PHIVOLCS team meticulously installs the Dynaslope landslide sensor, a technology containing a SIM card that would automatically transmit data about an impending landslide. This instrument was installed in the upland village of Kinarum, Magpet, Cotabato Province. (Photo: DOST-PHIVOLCS Dynaslope Project Team)

Dr. Michael Ty Mayo, DOST Cotabato provincial director, highlighted the importance of conducting an orientation on the department’s Dynaslope Project, especially in earthquake- and landslide-prone areas like Cotabato Province, where one of its barangays was one of the recipients of DOST 12’s recent training efforts.

“For Cotabato Province, which is susceptible to landslides, this project is of paramount importance. It [Dynaslope] not only offers the potential to save lives by providing timely alerts but also underscores the value of combining technology with community engagement to enhance disaster preparedness and resilience,” Mayo said.

He explained that Dynaslope, which is a project of DOST-PHIVOLCS, is pioneering research in the Philippines that is dedicated to the development of an early warning system “for deep-seated and catastrophic landslides, utilizing advanced landslide sensor technology coupled with active community participation.”

Mayo said that “Phivolcs initially installed the device in the upland villages of Kinarum and Bacong in the towns of Magpet and Tulunan, respectively, which are both considered mountainside landslide-prone areas,” adding that “soon more sites will be installed together with the early warning devices” not just in Cotabato but other areas in Soccsksargen.

Meanwhile, DOST 12 is also set to conduct a series of life-saving trainings for the remaining months of 2023.

“Training is crucial as it fosters increased community awareness, preparedness, knowledge, and skills,” said DOST 12-Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) focal Benjie Francisco, emphasizing the agency’s goal for the public to become more aware and resilient in times of calamities and emergencies, not only to minimize damage but most especially to avoid losses.

DOST intends to teach and empower participants in their scheduled training on life-saving skills such as first aid, hands-only cardiopulmonary resuscitation, choking response, basic life support, water safety and lifesaving, evacuation drills, and heat and cold exposure.

Being the lead agency of the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council's (RDRRMC) Prevention and Mitigation Committee, the DOST 12 is hands-on in providing training and orientations on its other projects pertaining to disaster prevention and mitigation.

This includes the DOST-PHIVOLCS HazardHunterPH, a one-stop shop for hazard assessment wherein one can find out if a location is prone to seismic, volcanic, or hydrometeorological hazards.

Participants will also be introduced to the FaultFinder app (short for application), which can measure the distance of an active fault from the location of an individual by just clicking the app.

Earlier, the DOST-Cotabato Province conducted a training on Hands-Only Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation for barangay officials of Dungoan, M’lang, including 80 pupils and teachers of Dungoan Elementary School (DES).

Pupils of Dungoan Elemetary School in Barangay Dungoan, M'lang, get firsthand experience in doing hands-only cardiopulmonary resuscitation in a training conducted by the Department of Science and Technology 12 in partnership with the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office of M’lang. Hands-only CPR is one of the life-saving techniques needed in emergency situations and is included in the training repertoire of the DOST to ensure a prepared and resilient community. (DOST 12)

Sterrin Sumalde-Malones, a teacher and school DRRM coordinator, pointed out the importance of the training, especially for their school due to its location being situated in a far-flung barangay that rescuers could not immediately reach in times of emergencies.

“We are so lucky that our school was chosen as one of the beneficiaries of the training because life-saving skills, such as basic first aid and CPR, are important for us as first responders in emergency situations while rescue teams are on their way,” she said.

According to her, the DOST team also taught the pupils how to use the apps HazardHunter and FaultFinder, which can be accessed using mobile phones, in addition to the orientation on the Dynaslope Project.

“The activity was very productive and informative, especially since we are also located in a flood-prone area and we need to be equipped with important information and skills so that we can be prepared in any given situation,” added teacher Sumalde-Malones.

In October 2019, Cotabato Province was hit by a 6.6-magnitude earthquake, which not only resulted in the destruction of buildings but also caused erosion in mountainous parts of the province. The earthquake, which also affected the neighboring provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, and Davao del Sur, left 21 people dead and injured 300 more others.

The Cotabato DRRM Office also noted that during the rainy days, some parts of the province are oftentimes submerged in flood waters since some of its rivers form part of the tributaries of the Rio Grande de Mindanao, or Mindanao River.

Reiterating the agency's commitment, Dr. Mayo said that DOST 12, under the leadership of Regional Director Engr. Sammy Malawan is determined to push the agency’s disaster risk reduction programs and other initiatives to mitigate the impact of disasters in the region.

He said that those who want to avail of the trainings offered by DOST may submit a letter of intent addressed to RD Malawan and email it to or contact DOST’s DRRM focal persons, PD Mayo or Francisco, at their respective cellphone numbers, +639992208992 or +639266836763. (SJDM – PIA Region 12)

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Harlem Jude Ferolino

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