Press Release
March 13, 2010


Senator Edgardo J. Angara, chairman of the Congressional Commission on Science and Technology, and Engineering (COMSTE), will speak before the participants of the climate change conference dubbed '"Engineering Resilience: Confronting Risks Beyond Adaptation" on March 15-16 at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza.

The conference, organized by COMSTE and the Manila Observatory, aims to tackle issues related to climate change, disaster management, and food security through the use of Science and Technology (S&T).

Angara is expected to share his views on the significance of innovative engineering on disaster preparedness and risk reduction. "We need to be prepared for the worst that nature can throw at us. In hindsight, we can learn from the many mistakes made when Ondoy and Pepeng ravaged the country and integrate these lessons with that of other countries then use the tools provided to us by S&T to be better prepared for future calamities."

He added, "There is no question that climate change is upon us, yet we do not have the full picture of the effects that this will have on our water security, food security and even our infrastructure. By pooling our resources and data, we can expand our knowledge and help us understand the full scope of climate change and its effects on our country."

Angara has been stressing the need for the country to be better prepared for looming crises in water and food shortage. "Disasters are not limited to natural events like earthquakes and flooding. Not being able to feed our people would be a grave disaster, and even though we may not feel the immediate effects or see clear signs of food or water crises in our everyday lives, science is showing us that these events are on the horizon and if we are not prepared, we will suffer dire consequences."

The first day of the conference will provide an overview of the country's climate change studies, risks, hazards and vulnerability assessments and policy directions ("What The Philippines Should Do About Climate Change") as well as the lessons we learned from typhoon Ondoy (Post-Ondoy Analysis).

The conference also offers a quick look into other countries' experience with disaster risk reduction (Taiwan National Center for Disaster Risk Reduction), as well as the use of satellite data for accurate forecasting and prediction, even post-even analysis, which can be made available to us through collaboration with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.

The second day will be devoted to infrastructure development (Dr. Vinod C. Menon, from India), food and agriculture (Dr. Asanee Kawtrakul, from Thailand), marine and coastal areas resource management (local expert Dr. Laura David from the UP Marine Science Institute), energy security (expert analysis from the Manila Observatory), and public health (Dr. Eric Rasmussen of the USA). There will also be a discussion on game-changers and resiliency networks, in an effort to look at common and available tools that can prove invaluable for preparedness and coordination before and during disasters (Dr. Linton Wells III of the US).

"The output of this conference will have far reaching effects on future generations. We can give ourselves the proper tools and be better prepared for the future by innovating the way we utilize science and technology, international collaboration, and public-private partnerships with the end goal of being better prepared and to save lives. " Angara said.

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