App to help Aurora fishers monitor weather for safe sailing

(Image courtesy of BFAR)

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga – At least 300 fisherfolk in Dingalan, Aurora will soon be able to properly monitor weather conditions for safe sailing, especially during the typhoon season.

The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and the National Fisheries Research and Development Institute (NFRDI) will introduce the “ISDApp” in the coastal community of Dingalan to enhance the fishermen’s understanding of the environment they work in.

ISDApp, which was developed by iNON IT Solutions and is powered by Globe, converts collected localized weather data into simplified weather forecasts and sends them to the registered mobile numbers of fisherfolk.

Since it uses text messaging, fishermen can receive timely weather alerts even without a smartphone. This will help them decide whether or not to set sail and take the necessary precautions.

“This is part of the commitment of the institute to scale up the project and transfer technologies to more coastal communities in the country, particularly in Dingalan where fishing is considered as one primary source of living. Moreover, equal access to information is more crucial than ever, especially in times of crisis,” Dr. Lilian C. Garcia, NFRDI acting executive director, said in an official social media post on Monday.

ISDApp was first launched in Sariaya, Quezon in January this year. Its success prompted the proponents to expand the service to Dingalan given the high typhoon incidence in the province.

Aurora is facing the Pacific Ocean and has a shoreline of 45 kilometers. Fishing is the townsfolk’s secondary means of livelihood next to farming.

“Our fishermen are among the most hardworking citizens of our nation. As they sail in rough seas for a living, we at iNON IT Solutions aim to support their livelihood by providing them with the latest weather information with ISDApp. Thanks to Globe, more and more fisherfolks can now use ISDApp for their safety,” Jeddah Legaspi, iNON Co-Founder, said.

The initiative will cover three coastal barangays in Dingalan — Aplaya, Butas na Bato, and Paltic.

iNON has conducted the training of the local government unit (LGU) on the use of the ISDAapp, in collaboration with the municipal government headed by Mayor Shierwin H. Taay and the Municipal Agriculture Office.

Taay said one of the challenges being confronted by the fishermen nowadays are connectivity and access to right information.

“Isa sa pinakamahirap na sektor ay ang sektor ng mangingisda. Sa pamamagitan ng ISDApp, mapapalaganap nang tama ang impormasyon sa komunidad ng mga mangigisda (One of the poorest sectors is the fisherfolk. Through ISDApp, the right information will be disseminated to the fisherfolk community),” the mayor said.

For his part, Wilfredo Cruz, BFAR regional director, said, “The ISDApp is an effective way to share weather forecasts with fisherfolk to improve fishing safety. It will serve as an early warning system so that our fisherfolk can conduct weather self-monitoring before making the decision whether or not they will continue with their fishing activities for the day”.

The fisherfolk community leaders will also be trained on how to subscribe to daily advisories. They will work closely with the LGU and will be instrumental in ensuring all targeted fishermen are on boarded for the initiative.

In the coming weeks, the NFRDI also intends to equip fisherfolk of Dingalan with mobile phones to help them safely navigate seas. Some 100 mobile phones will be distributed in a separate ceremonial activity that will be complemented by load support from Globe.

“Technology can be a great partner to keep our fisherfolk safe. We are aware that in some communities, access to information and resources may be limited. This is why ISDApp was made as simple as possible so that alerts can reach those people who continue to use low-end phones,” Yoly Crisanto, Globe chief sustainability officer and SVP for Corporate Communications, said. (PNA)

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Credit belongs to : www.pna.gov.ph

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