The Philippines’ disaster management capabilities are set to improve with the implementation of artificial intelligence (AI) technology from both foreign and local projects. Japanese startup Spectee and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) have partnered with the Philippine government to pilot their AI-powered disaster management tool in the country. At the same time, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) is developing a similar AI system. President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos has expressed his commitment to nationwide technological innovation, and these projects demonstrate the country’s efforts to use AI to protect its citizens from natural disasters and participate in global digitalization.
The AI system developed by Spectee and JICA utilizes a range of data sources such as river/road cameras, climate information, people traffic, and social media to visualize crisis situations. The system also incorporates image and sentence analysis, as well as credibility scoring, to verify information. Human experts review and verify the data, and the AI program then provides reliable notifications through a digital dashboard, smartphone alerts, and emails. This system has already been adopted by over 100 Japanese government organizations and news outlets. JICA has partnered with the Office of Civil Defense and the Department of the Interior and Local Government in the Philippines to conduct trials of the AI system.
Meanwhile, the DOST-Philippine Council for Industry, Energy, and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD) is working on its own AI system called DATOS, or Remote Sensing Data Science. This system assists disaster response agencies in estimating the extent of flooding and relays information to the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) and the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC). The system aims to provide real-time updates on affected areas and help facilitate timely and appropriate response measures.
Dr. Enrico Paringit, the executive director of DOST-PCIEERD, explained that the DATOS system will enable authorities to accurately assess flood situations and respond promptly. He also mentioned plans to install AI sensors in volcanoes to aid in the evacuation of residents before eruptions occur. By adopting AI technology in disaster management and other sectors, the Philippines is positioning itself to become more prosperous through technological advancements.
The country’s focus on digital innovation and the implementation of AI in disaster management systems demonstrate its commitment to protecting its citizens from the effects of natural disasters. With ongoing projects and partnerships with both foreign and local entities, the Philippines is actively working towards improving its disaster management capabilities and embracing technological advancements for the benefit of its people.