Press Release
October 21, 2010


Senator Edgardo J. Angara, chair of the Congressional Commission on Science, Technology and Engineering (COMSTE), today emphasized the need for building institutions that would respond to the country's specific needs in disaster risk reduction and renewable energy promotion.

Among the priorities of COMSTE is the establishment of the Philippine Disaster Science Center, and the Renewable Energy Research and Development Institute (RERDI).

The Philippine Disaster Science Center adopts a two-pronged strategy of providing accurate science for forecasting and modeling, as well as providing training to local governments and private institutions for disaster response and management.

"We need an S&T-based strategy for disaster risk reduction, and integrate risk governance into our local governments. The Philippine Disaster Science Center will be the premier institute for disaster science in the country and build collaboration with other countries' disaster science centers for regional climate data sharing and analysis," he said.

Angara said this should be a national priority, especially as the nation faces more frequent and stronger natural disasters.

"With climate change now added to the equation, we need the DSMC to help us prepare for stronger typhoons and similar disasters that will continue to threaten the country in the years to come. Government needs to be able to understand how to develop an advanced and real-time information dissemination strategy so people can better prepare to handle such events," noted Angara.

COMSTE is working with the Manila Observatory (MO) to finalize a framework for the Disaster Center, set to become a training center to focus on scenario-type learning utilizing technology for disaster mitigation and management. Taiwan and Japan are already actively cooperating with training of local experts.

Meanwhile, the Renewable Energy Research and Development Institute (RERDI) has been created by Congress in 2009 under the Renewable Energy Law which Angara sponsored. It will become the hub for developing new technologies that will aid in the promotion of the renewable energy industry through private-public partnerships.

"Developing innovative renewable energy systems can aid in achieving the long term goal of energy independence. With RERDI, we can fully utilize Public Private Partnerships and our ties with neighboring countries to stimulate growth in the RE power sector," said Angara.

RERDI will promote science based projects in energy systems that will demonstrate new approaches to energy efficiency, renewable energy and storage technologies. RERDI priorities include second generation bio-fuels feedstock, hybrid renewable energy systems, energy efficient products, and sustainable public transport (including green transport solutions).

COMSTE is sending a delegation to Taiwan at the end of the month composed of experts from government, academe and industry in order to set the groundwork for RP-Taiwan collaboration on solar energy.

The Philippine delegation will visit with the heads of more than 15 solar companies in the hopes of being able to entice them to send their solar cells for testing at a new solar testing facility which is set to open within the month in Batangas. The facility is a partnership between COMSTE and First Philec and can test panels for optimal output in tropical conditions.

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