Philippines disaster management get AI boost | Inquirer Technology

Philippines improves disaster management with AI

09:11 AM August 15, 2023

The Philippines’ disaster management improves with artificial intelligence from foreign and local projects. Japanese startup Spectee and the Japan International Cooperation Agency will pilot their disaster management tool in the country. Meanwhile, the Department of Science and Technology is developing a similar tool.

President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos promised to usher a nationwide technological innovation. These projects prove his commitment to this cause by using artificial intelligence to protect Filipinos from natural disasters. Soon, the country could participate in the world’s expanding digitalization.

This article will discuss how artificial intelligence will improve the Philippines’ disaster management. Later, I will cover the country’s other tech projects. Believe it or not, the Pearl of the Orient has been steadily improving its digital systems lately!


How does the Japanese AI work?

Japanese AI Technology

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The Philippines experiences floods frequently, especially as September approaches. Better tracking systems can help Filipinos anticipate these disasters.


The Philippine News Agency recently announced the PH government’s partnership program with Japanese startup Spectee and JICA that will mitigate risks and save lives in disaster-prone areas. Specifically, they will launch an AI-powered system.

It visualizes a crisis using data from river/road cameras, climate information, people traffic, social media, and other methods. Also, the JICA system verifies information with image and sentence analysis and credibility scores.


Human experts recheck and verify the data. Then, the AI program provides reliable notifications through a digital dashboard, smartphone alerts, and emails.

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JICA says more than 100 Japanese government organizations and news outlets use this AI system. Also, it partnered with the Office of Civil Defense and the Department of the Interior and Local Government to perform trials.

JICA chief representative Takema Sakamoto stated, “JICA believes that AI brings benefits to society if we use it well. The Philippines needs and is ready for this kind of technology.”

“We see the potential that more Filipinos would benefit from this digital innovation from Japan, particularly in the area of disaster management,” he added.

What is the country’s AI disaster management system?

AI Disaster Management System

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Moreover, the Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Council for Industry, Energy, and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD) is developing a similar AI system. The Philippine Information Agency (PIA) says it is working on the DATOS or Remote Sensing Data Science.

It helps disaster response agencies estimate a flood’s extent. “Immediately kasi in disaster management actually you want to know where the affected areas are. This means you have to come out where they are so you can provide the necessary response like rescue, evacuation, things like that,” Dr. Enrico Paringit, executive director of DOST-PCIEERD, said.

It relays information to the PAGASA (Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration) and the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC). “Before, we did not know the what was happening on the ground. Now, down to the nearest barangay, you will know the real situation,” Paringit said.

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“The geo-hazard maps will show what will happen, the DATOS will show what is happening. For example, there was heavy rain last night, and when the satellite passes by, we will have data showing the extent of the flooding.”

The director drew parallels between the DATOS with Japan’s warning system. “For example, in Japan, they are developing a warning system with an 8-second lead time, that’s a huge thing, where you predict an earthquake is going to happen in 8 seconds. It is still under development, but if it is possible in other countries, it could also be possible in our country,” Paringit said.

The DOST executive director shared plans to put AI sensors in volcanoes to help local authorities evacuate residents before they erupt. Moreover, the DOST-PCIEERD joined AI Pinas, a conference and workshop that promotes AI awareness.


The Philippines’ disaster management is improving with AI from international and local projects. It recently started a pilot program for Japan’s AI-powered system.

The country’s DOST is developing a similar system. Moreover, the Philippines has been expanding its artificial intelligence adoption by pushing an AI bill.

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