Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Albayanos can now access disaster-related info via fingertip

LEGAZPI CITY, July 15 (PNA) -- With the onset of bad weather disturbances in the country, monitoring of disaster warning in Albay is just within the “pindot” (pushing with the fingertip) of even an ordinary Albayano, according to a top disaster official of the province.

“With pindot, even the farmers, vendors, children or house helpers can relay disaster warnings from the authorities to their loved ones before, during and after disaster occurrences,” Cedric Daep, Albay Public Safety Emergency and Management Office (APSEMO) CHIEF, SAID.

DAEP SAID THIS IS POSSIBLE BECAUSE THE THE PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT IS EMPLOYING A MOBILE APPLICATION IN PARTNERSHIP WITH TELECOMMUNICATIONS GIANT SMART COMMUNICATIONS, INC.

HE EXPLAINED THAT THE MOBILE APP IS AN ADDITIONAL TOOL USED BY THE PROVINCE ASIDE FROM MASS MEDIA, INFOBOARD AND SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES TO PASS ON IN THE FASTEST WAY DISASTER WARNING ADVISORIES TO THE PUBLIC.

NAMED PINDOT, THE MOBILE APP IS A PRO-ACTIVE, COMPREHENSIVE AND RATIONAL DISASTER MANAGEMENT MOBILE AND WEB APPLICATION WHICH THE APSEMO ADOPTED FOR EASIER AND FASTER INFORMATION DISSEMINATION TO MITIGATE THE DISASTROUS EFFECTS OF NATURAL AND MAN-MADE CALAMITIES WITH THE HELP OF NEW MOBILE TECHNOLOGIES.

PINDOT IS SHORT FOR PROVINCIAL INFORMATION NETWORK ON DISASTER OCCURRENCES AND THREATS WHEREIN THIS MOBILE APP CAN BE USED TO GIVE GOVERNMENT AGENCIES, ORGANIZATIONS AND INDIVIDUALS IMMEDIATE ACCESS TO DISASTER WARNINGS, ADVISORIES, LOCATION DATA AND DISASTER MAPPINGS, DAEP SAID.

ALBAY, THE UNITED NATIONS MODEL FOR BEST DISASTER RISK REDUCTION MITIGATION AND ADAPTATION MEASURES IN THE COUNTRY, IS PIONEERING THE PINDOT MOBILE APPLICATION IN PARTNERSHIP WITH SMART TO TRANSMIT EARLY WARNING ADVISORIES TO THE PUBLIC AHEAD OF THE IMPENDING NATURAL DISASTER.

THE PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT OF ALBAY LED BY GOVERNOR JOEY SALCEDA IS NOTED FOR TAKING EIGHT STEPS AHEAD OF THE IMPENDING NATURAL CALAMITIES AS HIS PARAMOUNT POLICY ON DISASTER RISK REDUCTION MANAGEMENT AND ADAPTATION MEASURES IN PURSUIT OF ATTAINING A ZERO-CASUALTY GOAL.

THE PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT IS USING CELLULAR PHONES TO INFORM THE PEOPLE HERE OF THE IMPENDING THREATS TO SAVE PRECIOUS LIVES.

ALBAY PROVINCE -- CLASSIFIED AS THE LABORATORY OF ALL NATURAL HAZARDS SUCH AS VOLCANIC ERUPTION, EARTHQUAKE, TYPHOON, FLASH FLOOD AND TSUNAMI – HAS PARTNERED WITH SMART TO EXPEDITE THE RELAY OF DISASTER WARNING ADVISORY.

SMART HAS CHOSEN ALBAY AMONG 81 PROVINCES IN THE COUNTRY FOR PINDOT MOBILE AND WEB APPLICATION AS A PRO-ACTIVE TOOL BEFORE, DURING AND AFTER DISASTER OCCURRENCES.

“SMART KNOWS THAT THE TECHNOLOGY WILL BE OPTIMIZED HERE BECAUSE THE ADOPTER IS ENGAGED, WHICH MEANS WE KNOW WHAT WE WANT SO THE TECHNOLOGY CAN DELIVER EXACTLY WHAT WE NEED RATHER THAN DICTATE WHAT IT CAN DO. TIMELY AND ACCURATE COMMUNICATIONS BEFORE, DURING AND AFTER DISASTERS AND EMERGENCY SITUATIONS PLAY A CRUCIAL ROLE IN SAVING LIVES,” SALCEDA SAID.

WITH PINDOT THE WEATHER FORECAST AND ADVISORIES OF THE SOUTHERN LUZON REGIONAL OFFICE OF THE PHILIPPINE ATMOSPHERIC, GEOPHYSICAL AND ASTRONOMICAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION CAN NOW BE ACCESSED.

EQUIPPED WITH A USER-FRIENDLY INTERFACE, IT FEATURES EASY-TO-FOLLOW STEP-BY-STEP INSTRUCTIONS THAT CAN GUIDE USERS TO SAFETY DURING DISASTERS.

THE APPLICATION ALSO ALLOWS USERS TO CONTRIBUTE PERTINENT INFORMATION TO EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE AGENCIES EASIER AND FASTER.

PINDOT ALSO ALLOWS USERS TO POST PHOTOS, TO PROVIDE CONCISE DETAILS AND INFORMATION ABOUT EVENTS CURRENTLY UNFOLDING.

THE APPLICATION ALSO OFFERS USEFUL TOOLS WHICH CAN CONVERT ONE’S SMART PHONE INTO A SIREN, FLASHLIGHT, STROBE LIGHT AND COMPASS.

THE PHONE CAN ALSO STORE EMERGENCY PHONE NUMBERS FOR EASY ACCESS AND DELIVER SAFETY TIPS IN CASES OF EMERGENCY.

AFTER INSTALLING THE APP AND FOLLOWING VERIFICATION FROM THE APSEMO ONE WILL BE ASKED TO SIGN UP.

ONCE DONE, ONE CAN POST REMARKS AND EVENTS, CHECK OUT UPDATES FROM AUTHORITIES, AND USE A HOST OF FEATURES AVAILABLE TO THE APP.

RAMON ISBERTO, HEAD OF THE PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICE OF SMART, SAID EARLIER THAT SMART CHOSE ALBAY AS PILOT LOCAL GOVERNMENT UNIT FOR THIS VALUABLE MOBILE APP AS THE PROVINCE IS RECEPTIVE TO NEW COMMUNICATION TOOLS AND THE PROVINCE IS WIDELY KNOWN FOR ITS PRO-ACTIVE DRR PROGRAMS, MAKING IT THE PERFECT PARTNER IN PROPAGATING DRR AWARENESS.

ASKED ON HOW TO USE PINDOT, ISBERTO EXPLAINED THAT ONE SHOULD FIRST LOG IN AND AFTER LOGGING IN, HE WILL SEE ON THE HOME SCREEN RECENT EVENTS WHERE HE CAN INPUT REMARKS, AND CHECK ACTIONS TAKEN BY AUTHORITIES OR POST AN EVENT, ITS DESCRIPTION, AND EVEN ADD HASHTAGS.

IT AUTOMATICALLY PINPOINTS THE USER’S LOCATION.

USERS CAN ALSO ADD A PHOTO VIA CAMERA OR PHOTO LIBRARY OR SEE MULTIPLE EVENTS ON THE MAP.

WHEN ZOOMED IN, DETAILS WILL BE SHOWN INCLUDING DESCRIPTION, DATE AND TIME, AND THE USER, WHO REPORTED THE EVENT.

ISBERTO SAID LINKING THE DEVELOPER AND TECH START-UP COMMUNITY WITH LOCAL GOVERNMENTS AND INSTITUTIONS ENSURE THAT INNOVATIVE MOBILE APPLICATIONS ARE PUT TO GOOD USE AND ACTUALLY BENEFIT THE PEOPLE.

“THIS IS ‘APPTIVISM’ OR USE OF MOBILE APPS FOR SOCIAL GOOD AT ITS BEST,” HE SAID.

SMART ALSO DONATED FREE SMART PHONES TO ALBAY’S 15 TOWNS AND THREE CITIES DURING THE LAUNCH OF PINDOT HELD EARLIER AT THE CLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTATION AND DISASTER RISK REDUCTION MANAGEMENT TRAINING INSTITUTE HERE.

PINDOT WAS DEVELOPED BY CEBU-BASED TUDLO INNOVATION SOLUTIONS, A TECHNOLOGY START-UP FOUNDED BY VINCE LOREMIA AND HIS TEAM, ASSISTED BY APSEMO, AND IS NOW AVAILABLE TO DOWNLOAD FOR FREE FOR IOS AND ANDROID USERS.

TUDLO IS A CEBUANO WORD THAT MEANS “TO TEACH, GUIDE OR POINT.”

IT EMERGED AS ONE OF THE 20 FINALISTS IN THE FIRST NATIONAL COMPETITION FOR THE BEST TECH START-UP IDEA OF THE IDEASPACE FOUNDATION.

TUDLO WAS AMONG 10 YOUNG INNOVATORS WORLDWIDE CHOSEN BY THE UNITED NATIONS-BACKED INTERNATIONAL TELECOMMUNICATION UNION LAST YEAR. (PNA)
LAP/FGS/RBB/CBD