Pilipinas Shell Foundation Inc. (PSFI), the social development arm of Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation, recently organized a series of Weather & Tropical Cyclone 101 trainings conducted by Weather Philippines Foundation in the municipalities of Aborlan and Taytay, and the sitio of Sabang in Palawan.
These supplementary trainings were conducted to educate community residents on handling weather information coming from the Automated Weather Station (AWS) units provided to each municipality of Palawan.
To ensure maximum participation from the municipalities, the trainings were strategically organized to cover the South, North and Central areas. In Aborlan, 133 participants from Española, Narra, Brooke’s Point, and Quezon joined the training. In Taytay, there were total of 130 trainees with residents also coming from Dumaran, Araceli, San Vicente, Roxas, and El Nido. Lastly, in Sabang, a total of 86 community members participated.
The trainees were from different sectors such as agriculture, fishery, tourism, and business; and from different agencies such as the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (MDRRMO), Department of Education (DepEd) Division of Palawan, Western Philippines University (WPU), Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park (PPSRNP), and Philippine National Police (PNP). Other partners include the Municipal Government of Taytay, Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (PDRRMO), and Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD).
Along with Shell’s campaigns geared toward community concerns such as driver education, fuel efficient driving and saving fuel, conducting the Weather 101 training for the communities have been effective in imparting knowledge on handling data derived from the AWS units considering the effects of global warming and climate change in prevailing weather conditions.
Dr. Lita B. Sopsop, dean of the College of Agriculture, Forestry, and Environmental Sciences of WPU emphasized its use for the academe, and the agriculture and fishery sectors. “This training will reinforce our lectures for our students and what we learned here simplifies the impact and use of weather information. For example, since we can now predict when it will rain, for the agriculture sector, we can now know when to plant and harvest rice. This seminar is very helpful and significant to the agriculture and fishery sectors,” she said.
Romy Salvame, Municipal Mayor of Taytay, highlighted its use for disaster preparedness given the reality of climate change, adding that they could use this weather knowledge in creating appropriate preparedness action, and plans in making practical decisions to reduce the impact of weather-related disasters.
The different MDRRMOs also stated that they are developing different strategies for information dissemination on the weather condition to barangays and to their municipal residents. In San Vicente, they conduct 24/7 monitoring of weather information from the AWS, then they distribute the information to the different barangays each day through handset radios. After this training, they are planning to tap their radio station in San Vicente to reach more people.
In his closing remarks, PSFI Program Manager Aquino Veran said, “I hope and anticipate that this training would be of immense help to you, especially the moment you go back to your respective work and municipalities. I hope this would really help you in some way, and that you could share the knowledge you gained from this training so that more people could benefit from this project.”