Multisectoral Group boosts Palawan Climate Resilience


Pilipinas Shell Foundation, Inc. (PSFI), the social development arm of Shell companies in the Philippines, recently signed a memorandum of agreement with Weather Philippines Foundation (WPF) for the expansion of the latter’s automated weather station (AWS) network in Palawan. The move aims to intensify the province’s resilience to climate-related risks such as extreme weather events.

Another agreement was also signed between PSFI and the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD) to further solidify Shell’s support toward disaster prevention and mitigation efforts of Palawan local government units (LGUs).

“Palawan shows a high risk to potentially deadly storm surges,” explained PSFI executive director Edgar Veron Cruz, citing the Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards or Project NOAH study of the Department of Science and Technology.

“The AWS will serve as an early warning device for communities so they can quickly respond to calamities. Shell recognizes the value of multi-sector collaboration to achieve greater societal resilience. For this partnership project with WPF and PCSD, Shell will offer  operational sites such as Shell gas stations and oil depots in strategic locations for AWS installation, as well as donate AWS units for installation in PCSD satellite offices,” added Veron Cruz.

WPF was established by the Aboitiz Group in partnership with the MeteoGroup to help deliver critical and accurate weather forecasts to the Filipino community as a way of improving nationwide disaster preparedness and timely response to variable weather conditions.

WPF currently has a network of 750 AWS in the Philippines covering 81 provinces, with 12 units already installed in Palawan.  The partnership between PSFI and WPF will provide an additional 30 AWS units. Priority sites for installation are PCSD satellite offices and communities surrounding Shell’s areas of operation in Palawan, particularly its oil depot in Puerto Princesa, Shell gas stations and coastal municipalities near the Shell-operated Malampaya deep water gas-to-power project.

These AWS will provide more localized weather information, including temperature and humidity, solar radiation, wind speed and direction, and rainfall. Data gathered is transmitted to a central computer system on a near real-time interval that will help carry out data analysis and propel action in case of emergencies.

Currently, weather bureau PAGASA has three weather stations installed in Puerto Princesa, Cuyo, and Coron. The PSFI AWS partnership with WPF and PCSD will improve the evaluation of weather conditions by increasing the bases to 45 locations, including the 12 initial installations by WPF. All municipalities in Palawan will now have at least one AWS each.

The LGU plays a vital role by ensuring that the equipment are safe and in best condition. Trainings and simple equipment maintenance workshops will be made available to volunteer agencies.


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