Batingaw, a Philippine disaster response app

Victor Barreiro Jr.
Batingaw helps monitor Philippine government agencies in times of need and provides utilities that can help in an emergency

MANILA, Philippines – Tudlo Innovation Solutions’ Batingaw application for iOS and Android devices is a great step forward in monitoring Philippine government agencies and news reports when a disaster occurs.

It also serves as a handy information repository for the things people should do when a particular event happens, in addition to turning your smartphone into its very own utility device in a pinch.

Batingaw for information dissemination

Batingaw’s front page comes with a very simple requirement to begin: an account in your name, which will contain your username, email address, and password. It’s a little off-putting that this is needed to begin, but is actually used for one of the features I’ll be discussing below.

INFO AT A GLANCE. Batingaw's sign-in screen, list of subscribed accounts, and the NDRRMC feed. Screenshots from iPhone app.

Upon logging in, you’ll find the first thing they introduce to you is an events system. This events system is actually a stream of reports from Batingaw users, noted by their account name and geotagged location.

Users can also make own reports using Batingaw. These events can then be uploaded to the Batingaw events stream for people to view as needed.

Part of the information dissemination services of Batingaw is a feed of tweets from a number of different organizations. This includes the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), the Philippine Red Cross, the Department of Education (DepEd), PAGASA, and Rappler, among others.

By picking a particular feed, users can track the twitter stream of the numerous accounts there from a centralized location.

Batingaw as utility

Batingaw also serves a number of different functions for utility purposes, providing information at a glance as well as augmenting certain phone functions to help users.

BATINGAW UTILITIES. Batingaw's feed for Rappler, the Safety Tips page, and some of the tools available on the app.

The app comes with a set of contacts for various government agencies, separated by region. It also comes with a set of different information repositories for people who might need more guidance in the event of various disasters, such as a flood or a storm, or simple safety tips and encyclopedic information from various department websites.

For those who are already in the thick of a disaster, the application also comes with a number of different features that turn your phone into a rescue utility. The app has strobe light, flashlight, and siren features that provide the appropriate light and sound for specific uses. Batingaw also comes equipped with a radio feature which lets users stream one of 3 radio stations to keep updated.

Lastly, Batingaw also features a compass tool, and an I am Safe button. The I am Safe button automatically creates a prepared message for users to text a person. This text message also features a link to your geotagged location so they know where you are or, if you’re sending multiple texts, where you’re headed.

Limitations of Batingaw

While Batingaw is useful in many circumstances, most of the features get hamstrung if you have no cellular phone signal or connection to the Internet.

For instance, without a cellular phone signal, you can’t send an I am Safe message. Without some form of Internet connectivity, the information dissemination services and the radio system will also likely be unusable.

That said, chances are you may still be in a situation that needs some stability, so luckily the most important bits of Batingaw – the utility features and safety tips – are still available to you. Just make sure to conserve your battery, and the app will help you take care of yourself in a pinch.

Batingaw is available on for iOS and Android users on their respective stores.

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Victor Barreiro Jr.

Victor Barreiro Jr is part of Rappler's Central Desk. An avid patron of role-playing games and science fiction and fantasy shows, he also yearns to do good in the world, and hopes his work with Rappler helps to increase the good that's out there.