DOSTv online weather channel launched
ON the heels of the devastation brought by recent super typhoons, such as Yolanda (international code name Haiyan), the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) recently launched the DOSTv, or the Filipino Weather Channel, to provide the public real-time weather updates and forecasts.
DOSTv started its broadcast at hhtp://www.dostv.ph and was mirrored at www. science.ph and www. dostv.ph/youtube, will feature science and technology (S&T) stories in the country.
Weather channel for Filipinos
THE DOST, through its agencies the Science and Technology Information Institute (STII) and the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration ( Pagasa), aims to provide the Filipino public reliable and accurate source of real- time weather information, which is highly important in daily activities of households, schools, communities and big industries, such as tourism, aviation and shipping, among others.
DOSTv will also feature news, stories and live interviews on interesting programs, projects, innovations, personalities and advances in the local S&T community.
Engr. Catalino Davis of Pagasa told the BusinessMirror that the agency plays a big and challenging role. “The main role of Pagasa is preliminary weather information from the agency, live streaming and forecasting.”
STII Director Richard Burgos said STII is working closely with Pagasa. “We are trying to identify more regular forecasters to participate in the show, so that they will be the ones recognized by the public.”
He said the weather forecasters are from Pagasa. “They [weather forecasters] are being groomed by Pagasa to appear in the show.”
Although it is called weather channel, the show also aims to showcase the DOST’s other branches. Davis said, “DOSTv is called the Filipino Weather Channel for a start and later on it should not only focus on Pagasa but also on some other [DOST] services.” He refers to other branches of the DOST, such as the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology.
DOSTv will also feature documentaries and highlight many current issues that the country is facing in the field of S& T that affect the daily lives of Filipinos. The first documentary, which was aired during the first livestream of the show, was entitled Unos (Storm).
Unos is a short feature documentary that highlights the lives of people living in permanently flooded areas, such as Malabon.
Its segment producer, Alan Mauro V. Marfal, told the BusinessMirror that the documentary is timely. “Now that it is June, most especially when classes are about to resume, the rainy season will surely affect the lives of many Filipinos.”
Marfal added, “In Malabon flood is already a way of life and, next to that, many areas in the Philippines are prone to floods.”
The documentary featured interviews of experts in the weather bureau, urban planners and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority. The planning started in brainstorming ideas for segments and stories. Marfal said, “We [STII staff] meet together and lay out plans for segments and stories, we identify who will be assigned there…. Our approach is like that of a case study.”
Marfal admitted that this was the first time STII has worked on this kind of production, but he said he feels satisfied. “It is fulfilling for us to know that we hit our goals, and see that the quality of our documentaries is good and is competitive with commercially made ones,” he said.
Four years in the making
THE idea of creating a weather channel for the Filipino public was planned four years ago when former DOST Assistant Secretary and now National Privacy Commi ss ion Commi ss ioner Raymond Liboro was in charge of the Technology Resource Center ( TRC) and STII. Burgos told the BusinessMirror in an interview: “They started talking about establishing it [DOSTv] four years ago, and it was easy since Commissioner Liboro was in charge of TRC and STII.”
TRC gave the initial funding under the DOST. “Unfortunately, TRC was abolished and all its assets were moved to the DOST and some of their projects were moved to STII,” Burgos said. “So we [STII] are now the partners of Pagasa in this project.” The preparation for DOSTv was made only in three months.
“The marching order was to get it [DOSTv] up and running when I assumed office,” Burgos said, recalling his assumption as director of STII three months ago. DOSTv started with an initial funding of P15 million. “The P15 million was just to jump- start DOSTv,” Burgos said. “Eight million pesos for the building and P7 million for the equipment.” The agency is in the process of generating more funds.
DOSTV will also feature live interviews. According to Marfal, documentary segments will be shown every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, while live interviews with experts to address certain issues will be held on Tuesday and Thursday.
STII and other agencies of the DOST are already very busy shooting their documentaries and planning the lineup of stories.
Marfal said, “The next stories in DOSTv would include the stormchasers of Pagasa, [ who] will narrate their experience in catching storms; the Diwata feature; El Niño; volcanic eruption; earthquakes; and telehealth.” Telehealth is the use of electronic information and telecommunication technologies in addressing health- related services in the Philippines.
Burgos said STII is hopeful that the show will continue, considering that its efforts to bring the best information about S&T and weather updates in the Philippines are up to high standards.
“We will have to make sure that we produce things for broadcast, and that the content will be relevant to our public [so that the] people will realize that there are lot of things going on in the country’s science and technology sector.”
DOSTv is set to broadcast every day on weekdays until 2017.
Burgos told the BusinessMirror, “I think now that we have laid our stakes on the ground, now that we have things to show, now that we can show to the people that we can produce quality programs, then we are hopeful we can generate support.”
THE Department of Science and Technology recently launched the online broadcast of DOSTv, or the Filipino Weather Channel. Leading the event are (from left) Science Undersecretary Dr. Rowena Cristina Guevara, for scientific and technological services; Undersecretary Dr. Amelia Guevara, for research and development; and Director Richard Burgos of the Science and Technology Information Institute.