By ALDWIN QUITASOL
BAGUIO CITY — Volunteers from the University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman in coordination with the Kabenguetan, Ilaban ti Biag, Daga ken Kinabaknang (Kaiabang) holds an orientation/training to the relocated residents of Pakak, Sitio Labey of Barangay Ambuklao, Bokod of Benguet on the landslide sensor machine that will be installed in the area.
According to Labey Indigenous Peoples Community Association (LIPCA) President Mary-ann Bugtong, the machine that is told to detect potential landslides in the future especially in rainy days will be much beneficial to them especially those who are living in landslide prone areas. She added that it will be most needed now that they observe cracks and slides in their area.
Bugtong said that on October 8, 2009 during the wrath of Typhoon “Pepeng”, a big landslide in Central Labey destroyed houses displacing 57 families and washed-out agricultural lands. The affected families whose houses were totally destroyed she continued was relocated in Pakak assisted by CARE Nederland, and assistance from the Assistance and Cooperation for the Resilience and Development Inc. (Accord), CordisRDC, Philippine Tropical Cyclones 2009, Shelter and Livelihood Recovery Project (PTC 2009-SERP) funded by the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection Department (ECHO) and were given brand new houses two years after the devastation.
She said that they invited not only the members of LIPCA but the people of other sorrounding communities.
“Daytoy gamin ket dakkel tulong para iti amin tapno maammuan tayo nu anya ti aramiden nu panawen ti matutudo ken tapno met lang agtitinnulong kami nu adda didigra,” (this is a big help for us to know what to do in the rainy seasons and also so that we will help each other when disasters come) said Bugtong.
Ric Saturay of the UP National Institute of Geological Science (NIGS) said that the Landslide Sensor Project (LSP) was developed in 2008 and is under the process of testing and research.
According to him, the massive landslide in Ginsaugon in Southern Leyte forced them to invent the landslide detector. He said that the device is composed of iron rods that will be erected on a potential landslide area. Once a movement is detected by the machine, it will automatically send a signal to the monitoring station in Manila through an installed Short Message Service (SMS) Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) Card. Through this, he said that they will be able to warn the community concerned if they need to evacuate to safer grounds.
Saturay said that they already installed one machine in Little Kibungan, Puguis of La Trinidad, Benguet in October 2010. On October 2009, more than 50 people were buried alive after a large portion gave way in the area.
He added that the device was expected to serve as an early warning device for the residents of said place including the areas with the same machine so that the tragedy will not happen again.
“We have also installed one in Sinipsip of Buguias town in June this year and another one is being installed in Barangay Ambassador of Tublay, and hopefully we will be able to put one in Labey,” Saturay said.
He added they are going to install other devices in Mindanao areas. According to him, the LSP is sponsored by UP Diliman and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and is being implemented by UP NIGS, UP institutes of Civil Engineering and Electrical and Electronics Engineering.
Johnny Fialen of Kaiabang said they are closely coordinating with the local government units (LGUS) on the LSP for the holding of orientations and trainings.
He added that they are also planning with the beneficiary communities for the updates and monitoring of the devices. # nordis.net