The Department of Science and Technology’s Project NOAH (Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards) is set to be shut down by the end of February due to a supposed lack of funds, its executive director Mahar Lagmay said on Twitter.
Lagmay said Project NOAH, a state-run flood and rain forecasting system created because of typhoon “Sendong” in 2011, was undermined under the previous administration “and they are still doing the same.”
“Two years ago pa kaming pinapatay. Long before (President Rodrigo) Duterte’s term. Iyong dating pumpapatay ay sila pa rin iyon” Lagmay wrote, adding that he has been “begging for NOAH to continue.”
Asked by a netizen if it would be possible to merge NOAH to the state weather bureau Pagasa, Lagmay said NOAH researchers are not forecasters but include mass communication personnel, anthropologists, sociologists, hydrologists, meteorologists, geophysicists, environmental planners, geographers, geologists, civil engineers, geodetic engineers, film directors, computer scientists, and social workers.
Lagmay said Project NOAH’s last day of operation was set on Feb. 28.
Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol on Monday said he would personally ask President Duterte to allow his department to take over Project NOAH.
“This would be a disaster especially now that the country experiences one flooding after another. The Department of Agriculture needs Project NOAH and I will do everything to save it. Initially, I will talk to President Rodrigo Duterte to take over Project NOAH,” Piñol wrote on Facebook.