Cagayan de Oro City, October 5, 2023 – The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) brings Handa Pilipinas: Innovations in Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) exposition in Cagayan de Oro City for the Mindanao Leg, marking another significant milestone for the region.
With the theme "Enhancing Resilience and Sustainability for Mindanao," the DOST aims to educate and empower various stakeholders and the public with over a hundred innovations and technologies that have the potential to boost the region’s economy and improve the lives of its over 26 million people.
“As we aspire to grow our economy here in Mindanao, we need to protect our resources and our wealth by reducing climate and disaster risks,” said DOST Secretary Renato U. Solidum Jr. He stressed that disaster resilience is not only crucial for economic development but also for human rights and well-being. “Nothing undermines development like disasters do. It can destroy years of progress in local communities in an instant, even the aspirations of the Filipino people who want a safe and resilient community.”
Solidum also emphasized that the Philippines remains one of the most vulnerable nations to the adverse impacts of climate change, which scientists worldwide observe are becoming increasingly intense and unprecedented. ”The most vulnerable suffer the most. But we also see an opportunity to change this narrative. We need to take a firm stand to reduce our vulnerabilities and to reimagine a new brand of Filipino resilience.”
Through science, technology, and innovation, the science chief said that Filipinos can embrace a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship, with research and development as the foundation. "Disasters happen when we, as a government, as a community, and as individuals, fail to anticipate, prevent, mitigate, and prepare for these natural hazards. Disasters occur when we fail to make use of available and reliable scientific information to guide our planning, decision-making, and action,” Solidum said.
From October 4 to 6, visitors can expect engaging exhibits showcasing a wide range of innovations and technologies in disaster prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response, recovery, and rehabilitation. These were funded, developed, and supported by the DOST and brought to life by state universities and colleges, science foundations, local government units (LGUs), other government entities, and the private sector.
In collaboration with the Office of Civil Defense and the Department of the Interior and Local Government, the DOST launches forums, tech pitching, training, and workshops on
various topics, including risk communication, flood warning systems, GeoRiskPH platforms, and discussions on bamboo technologies that can be used in disaster preparedness.
Meanwhile, DOST-PAGASA is setting up an inflatable mobile planetarium, providing educational sessions on scientific concepts about the universe to the public, especially students. The expo will also feature enjoyable activities that will appeal to the youth such as a quiz bowl and TikTok contest.
The HANDA Pilipinas Exposition is a nationwide event. The Luzon leg was held at the World Trade Center in Pasay City from July 27 to 30 with the theme "Megacities at Risk." Meanwhile, the Visayas leg will be conducted from November 8 to 10, coinciding with the 10th anniversary of Super Typhoon Yolanda, with the theme "STY remembered: Understanding Risks and Preventing Disasters."
For more information, visit the Facebook page of Handa Pilipinas (@dost.handapinas) or DOST Philippines (@dostph). (30)
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The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) is the lead agency for the development of science, technology, and innovation in the Philippines. DOST is committed to advancing research and technology to enhance the country's resilience and sustainability in the face of disasters. The HANDA Pilipinas Exposition is one of its flagship programs aimed at promoting disaster risk reduction and management technologies, resiliency, and sustainability. This event supports the four pillars or strategies of the DOST for 2023-2028, namely: human well-being, wealth creation, wealth protection, and sustainability.