Petron Corp., the country’s leading oil refining and marketing company, has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Department of Science and Technology.
The MOU is for the installation of automated weather systems under DOST’s Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards or Project NOAH.
Under the MOU, selected Petron service stations and depots and terminals from Petron’s nationwide network will soon be installed with automated weather systems.
The systems include rain gauges to further enhance DOST’s multi-billion peso floods and hazards forecasting, monitoring, and mitigation project.
The stations will also serve as local information centers of weather bulletins and advisories for motorists.
“We are one with the DOST in their desire to develop a culture of preparedness and safety among Filipinos. Through this strategic partnership, we will leverage our facilities nationwide to gather and disseminate essential information that will ensure the safety of our countrymen during times of natural disasters,” Petron Chairman and CEO Ramon Ang said.
Project NOAH, launched in July of this year, provides Filipinos with real-time access to weather information and updated maps, allowing them to better prepare against weather-related hazards and natural calamities.
The initiative proved successful during the recent typhoons and enhanced monsoon conditions last August, giving real-time weather information to government agencies and LGUs.
Petron said the MOU would help set out areas of collaboration that would not only ensure the project’s success but would also further improve the culture of preparedness and safety of Filipinos.
To date, Petron has the most extensive distribution and retail network in the oil industry with 32 depots and terminals and over 2,000 service stations nationwide.
Petron’s collaboration with the DOST is a natural evolution of its SAGIP-ALALAY initiatives which include conducting relief operations to families severely affected by natural calamities; pre-positioning of basic rescue equipment at selected service stations where the risks of disasters are high; and the utilization of its service stations as drop-off points for relief goods.
“Our SAGIP-ALALAY project has helped thousands of families start their lives again after a disaster. With our participation in Project NOAH, we hope to be more pro-active through disaster awareness and prevention,” Ang said.
Within two years, the entire country is expected to be digitally-mapped through Project NOAH.
Today, automated rain gauges have already been installed in river basis around the country, allowing scientists to track rainfall and river water levels in real time.