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Project NOAH website screenshot (2017.01.30)

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Project NOAH, which intends to provide real-time weather data and hazard maps for communities, will only run until February 28, of this year according to their executive director due to ‘lack of funds’ for the said project.

Project NOAH Executive Director Mahar Lagmay said the program will only run until February 28 since there are no more funds for it.

Lagmay also said they were informed that their request for extenstion would not be approved.

We were told verbally that our request for extension will not be approved. It is one month before February 28 and it takes time to sign documents and have funds transferred to UP where we work. Therefore, there will be at least 2-3 months before the scientists/researchers will get paid.” — Lagmay said in a Facebook post.

But there’s another catch.

“Last year, it was 5 months before the scientists got paid because our proposal to continue was disapproved. We just made an appeal. But we lost 40 well-trained, skilled, and experienced scientists. Two years ago, researchers’ salaries were delayed by 3-4 months. How will they eat? For those researchers who have families, what will they provide to their children?” — Lagmay added.

However, he clarified that this began under the Aquino administration, when mid-level officials of the DOST, who are still in government, told them there were no funds allocated for the project.

Since two years ago, mid-level government officials of the DOST have been telling us that there are no funds for Project NOAH. Since the Aquino administration. These officials are still with the government until now.

Project NOAH was established in 2012 in response to former president Benigno Aquino III’s instructions to provide “a more accurate, integrated, and responsive disaster prevention and mitigation system, especially in high-risk areas” throughout the country.

The program is designed to help address the nation’s problems brought by ill-informed decisions during disasters. Through its website and social media accounts, the project provides real-time weather data and high-resolution flood, landslide, and storm surge hazard maps. A project that is really helpful and innovative will end, because of just lack of funds.

We’ll update if there’s any change regarding the said decision.

via Rappler, Interaksyon