MANILA, Philippines – Rappler kicks off Social Good Summit 2013 with a conference in Manila. Experts, government officials, and volunteers come together to discuss disaster risk reduction and preparedness.
Carol Ramoran reports.
MARIA RESSA, RAPPLER CEO: Hopefully by next year, we will come together to say we helped prevent the loss of life.
Disasters are a fact of life in the Philippines, taking lives and destroying property every year.
This year’s Social Good Summit focused on how to mitigate the effects of disasters.
United Nations’ Country Director for the Philippines Toshihiro Tanaka says sharing helped Japan through one of its worst disasters — the Fukushima nuclear power plant meltdown.
Live from Qatar, Digital Humanitarians’ Patrick Meier talks about crowd sourcing information during disasters.
PATRICK MEIER, DIGITAL HUMANITARIANS: Access to information is equally important as access to food, water, to shelter, and so on.
Rappler CEO Maria Ressa says mapping social networks helped track down terrorists.
In times of crisis, she says the internet shows how people tend to form information hubs.
MARIA RESSA, RAPPLER CEO: What is social media? It’s your physical social network on steroids. You just take your family and friends and get rid of boundaries of time and space, and that’s social media.
Google Product Manager Andrew McGlinchey says his company’s mission is to work with authoritative agencies to make critical information more accessible during disasters.
Climate Change Commission Secretary Lucille Sering says maps can help mitigate the problem predict risks.
LUCILLE SERING, CLIMATE CHANGE COMMISSION: I hope I didn’t scare you, but I just wanted to let you know that there is really hope for our country.
The afternoon was for panel discussions and the entertaining yet very informative presentation of Albay Governor Joey Salceda about the constant hazard under his jurisdiction.
JOEY SALCEDA, ALBAY GOVERNOR: Hazards? Hindi ko naman mapaalis ang Mayon. Ang hazard, nagiging risk pag alam ng tao.
The event culminates with the launching of Project Agos — Rappler’s initiative that brings together the public and private sectors to improve disaster risk reduction strategies.
VOLTAIRE TUPAZ, RAPPLER: Think of Project Agos as a reservoir of government [and] private sector efforts…enhanced by social media, by big data. In other words, by you, the people.
It’s basically a platform that gathers and maps information during disasters through texts, tweets, and posts on social media through a unified hashtag and a number that you can text for free. In 2 to 6 months, Rappler and its partners aim to have Project Agos up and running.
CAROL RAMORAN, REPORTING: The Manila Social Good Summit ended with a performance from Up Dharma Down and a call to action; urging Filipinos to volunteer, and in their own little way, become a hero. Carol Ramoran, Rappler Manila.