The Oscar M. Lopez Center for Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Management Foundation, Inc. (The OML Center) has awarded research grants to seven projects aimed at mitigating climate change.  University of the Philippines, Ateneo de Manila University, and De La Salle University received a total of P13 million in funding for their project proposals.

The University of the Philippines has three projects which were combined into one program creatively called WHATSUP.  It aims to develop weather and hazard alert and tracking system for urban areas in the Philippines through the use of mobile applications.  With these proposals, practically everyone who owns a cellphone will be able to forecast and monitor local weather, assess disaster risks, and provide feedback to reduce forecasting errors.

The De La Salle University, likewise, has three proposals granted funding.  DLSU will put up a flood detector system in their three chosen areas and develop a guidebook which will contain impacts of climate change adaptation and mitigation measures that are applicable to the agriculture sector.  Another notable proposal involves the design of a car floatation system that will enable cars to float when floods strike.  Their third proposal involves the design of a mathematical model that can predict the economic consequences of man-made and natural disasters.  The model which they intend to be made available online can be used by any government agency, NGOs or private firms in developing policies and measures to mitigate risks.

The project of the Ateneo de Manila University, meanwhile, aims to reduce risks through the development and set up of an evidence and space-based decision support for Climate Change Adaptation-Disaster Risk Reduction Management.
“The OML Center aims to be a leading catalyst for generating science-based solutions to climate-related risks and disasters in the developing world.  While billions of resources are being allocated to build the resilience of communities to climate related risks, there is less support for generating scientific information that could lead to long-term, practical and sustainable solutions to climate change.  We will support applied research with practical outcomes to help the most vulnerable deal with the impacts of climate change and natural disasters,” OML Center Chairman Federico Lopez explained.

“Aside from awarding research grants, the OML Center will build network and partnerships with regional and international research institutions; foster capacity building and communications among a wide range of stakeholders; strengthen linkages with the national and local governments for the wide spread deployment of risk mitigation solutions; and provision of professorial chairs and other forms of incentives for outstanding achievements by scientists,” Dr. Rodel Lasco, OML Center Scientific Director, added.

About the OML Center

The OML Center for Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Management Foundation, Inc. (The OML Center) is the result of the twin advocacy of the Lopez family for environmental protection and public service.  It shall play a pivotal role in helping reduce the risks and manage the impacts of climate-related hazards in disaster prone areas in the country.  To achieve this role, the Center will strive to create a “Center of Excellence” by generating scicence-based solutions in the area of climate change adaptation and disaster risk management.  Over time, it hopes to attain an international reputation for showcasing Filipino ingenuity in this area.

Initial funds to put up the Center were released through the First Philippine Holdings Corporation, a Lopez Group company managing businesses in energy, real estate, manufacturing, construction, and energy services.