Press Release
March 15, 2011


The Congressional Commission on Science Technology and Engineering (COMSTE), in collaboration with the Philippine Disaster Science Management Center (DSMC), is set to explore the use of complexity science in developing decision support systems for disaster science.

Senator Edgardo J. Angara, Chair of COMSTE, said that the tragic earthquake that hit Japan and the resulting tsunami alerts that affected the entire Pacific region serve as another wake up call for the country to invest in the science of disaster management and preparedness.

Angara said that The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) released a report from a global science forum entitled, "Applications of Complexity Science for Public Policy", identifying resilience and vulnerability to extreme events as areas that could benefit from the application of complexity science.

The report defines a complex system as being, "composed of many parts that interact with and adapt to each other and, in so doing, affect their own individual environments and, hence, their own futures."

"Complexity scientists seek and scrutinize patterns and tendencies in complex systems. When they succeed in identifying consistent tendencies, effective ways of positively influencing the systems may be derived from the scientific analysis."

The OECD reported that in 2008 disaster management officials in Japan already began to adopt practices from complexity concepts, such as enabling bottom-up, community based disaster response as well as preparing proactive approaches to disaster preparation and planning.

Angara said that the DSMC will develop a strategy to collaborate internationally with countries like Japan and Taiwan to develop the science behind disaster management and better equip the country to deal with calamities.

The DSMC capitalizes on collaboration with the academe and private sector, as well as international partners, to develop world-class, science based disaster management systems.

COMSTE reports that the center will utilize an S&T-based strategy for risk reduction, integrated risk governance, and will be the premier institute for disaster science in the country. Through the center, the country can build collaboration with other countries' disaster science centers for regional climate data sharing and analysis.

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