February 23, 2024

Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Hae Kyong Yu and Acting Mayor Faustino Olowan led in the unveiling ceremony of the ASEAN Australia Smart Cities Trust Fund (AASCTF) Sadjap Water Level Monitoring Station Plaque on Nov. 17, at Km. 3, Barangay Sadjap, in La Trinidad, Benguet.

The station is part of the Baguio City Smart Flood Warning, Information, and Mitigation System Project currently being implemented under the AASCTF, according to Neeta Pokhrel of the Pacific and Southeast Asia Team, Water and Urban Development Sector Office of the Asian Development Bank.

In a letter to Mayor Benjamin Magalong dated Nov. 13, Pokhrel said the project aims to develop a smart and inclusive flood early warning system (FEWS) to improve the city’s disaster preparedness and resilience towards climate change-induced hazards.

Pokhrel said the AASCTF is supported by the Australian government, managed by ADB, and implemented by Ramboll, in partnership with the city government of Baguio.

At the unveiling, Yu reiterated her government’s continued support for the project and cited the importance of continued collaboration and cooperation in bolstering the city’s disaster preparedness and resilience capacity.

Olowan said the project is not just a technological advancement but a testament to what can be achieved through a clear and holistic vision as well as cooperative efforts.

“The success of this pilot project implementation underscores the importance of collaboration and cooperation between all stakeholders involved and emphasizes the shared responsibility we all hold toward building a resilient future for Baguio city,” he said.

After the unveiling, Yu proceeded to the Baguio Convention and Cultural Center where she was briefed on the Baguio FEWS project and given a tour of the Smart City Command Center. – Gaby B. Keith