DOSTv on­line weather chan­nel launched

Business Mirror - - SCIENCE MONDAY - Story & photo by Stephanie Tu­mam­pos sb­tu­mam­pos_BM

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:// and was mir­rored at www. and www., 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.

S&T doc­u­men­taries

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.

Fu­ture plans

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.

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