Globe Telecom has teamed up with the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) in developing a database for 56 provinces. The information are integrated with the PHIVOLCS-developed Rapid Earthquake Damage Assessment System (REDAS) software, a tool which can be used in developing hazard and risk information.
REDAS, a hazard simulation software used by PHIVOLCS to produce seismic hazard and risk maps immediately after the occurrence of a potentially damaging earthquake, can be used as a tool for emergency preparedness and contingency planning, Globe Chief Finance Officer and Chief Risk Officer Rizza Maniego-Eala said.
“Globe Telecom, as a telecommunications provider, is cognizant of the fact that availability of telecommunication services especially during times of emergencies is critical not only in minimizing casualties but also in providing rescue and rehabilitation efforts. We hope that the effective utilization of REDAS can provide deeper understanding and appreciation of earthquake hazards and risks that will hopefully lead to a more comprehensive planning and active formulation of an effective disaster prevention program and policies that will benefit not only service providers like Globe but also the entire country,” Eala said.
Specifically, Globe provided financial support for the creation of the additional REDAS hazard database. The built-in database consisted of multi-hazard maps from PAGASA and the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), as well as census and base maps from government institutions.
REDAS can produce deterministic ground shaking hazard maps for specific target areas and can produce liquefaction potential and landslide potential maps. REDAS can also provide estimates on tsunami heights, inundation, and arrival times; sort earthquake data by parameters; produce seismicity maps; allow users to build their own base maps and risk database; among others.
With the completion of the project, Globe is now able to access hazard maps for about 95% of its cell sites nationwide. This means the company will have applicable geographic scenarios in specific areas in relation to ground rupture, ground shaking, earthquake-induced landslides, tsunami, liquefaction, rain-induced landslide, flooding, storm surge, and volcanic hazards, Eala said.
Globe Telecom’s support for the development of the REDAS project is also in support of its business continuity initiative, noting that the availability of hazard maps could also be used as a basis in determining the threats to the company’s corporate offices, employees’ whereabouts, and safety as well as technical sites and stores.
Following the two agencies’ collaboration, hazard maps are now available for Metro Manila as well as in the provinces of Cavite, Bulacan, Benguet, Batangas, Negros Occidental, Tarlac, Nueva Ecija, Pangasinan, Ilocos Sur, Ilocos Norte, La Union, Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, Pampanga, Zambales, Bataan, Laguna, Rizal, Quezon, Palawan, Oriental Mindoro, Occidental Mindoro, Romblon, Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga Sibugay, Albay, Camarines Sur, Sorsogon, Iloilo, Capiz, Aklan, Antique, Cebu, Bohol, Negros Oriental, Leyte, Samar, Southern Leyte, Eastern Samar, Northern Samar, Misamis Oriental, Bukidnon, Lanao del Norte, Misamis Occidental, Davao del Sur, Davao del Norte, Davao Oriental, South Cotabato, Cotabato, Agusan del Norte, Surigao del Norte, Agusan del Sur, and Maguindanao.
REDAS was conceived in response to the country’s experience during the July 16, 1990 earthquake and takes into consideration a typical situation when a large-magnitude earthquake occurs. Such situation includes a breakdown of communication facilities, disruption of power supply, and isolation of affected areas through collapse of bridges and blockade of road networks by landslides. However, delay of information about a disaster-affected areas also hampers rescue and relief operations.
Globe is the first telecommunications company the Philippines to secure an enterprise-wide business continuity ISO certification in 2014. This means that the telecommunications provider has adequately equipped itself to respond and address disruptive incidents such as natural calamities for business continuity purposes. The certification is significant as it attests to the company’s readiness in ensuring delivery of critical telecommunications services to its customers even during disasters. Business continuity management is an important component of the company’s operations to ensure that it is able to deliver essential telecommunication services in times of emergencies.