Search for HOT projects, news, people and jobs.
News — 23 October, 2020

Philippines Celebrates International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction with Field Narratives

In celebration of IDDRR, HOT Philippines shares more of the fieldwork they are conducting in Pampanga — including coordinating with LGUs, training volunteers, and collecting field data.

The International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction, observed every 13 October, aims to raise awareness of what people and communities are doing to lessen their risk to disasters. In this monthly update, HOT Philippines shares about its work in the field for PhilAWARE, a disaster risk reduction project.

Coordinating with LGUs

Before HOT teams can proceed with any field activity, HOT representatives must first meet with local government units (LGUs) in each municipality. Our Country Manager, Bry Damasco, and Community and Volunteer Manager, Joji Bonilla, are in charge of coordinating schedules with LGUs.


Presenting OpenStreetMap and the PhilAWARE project to the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (left), and signing a MOA with Guagua Mayor Dante Torres (right)

Most of the coordination is done remotely, but in some cases, the team meets with LGUs personally to provide details of the PhilAWARE project. This month, the team coordinated a follow-up meeting with the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples and tribe leaders in Pampanga to ask for permission to map ancestral land.

Field movement during a pandemic is not without challenges. On different occasions, confirmed schedules had to be postponed because certain areas implemented localized lockdowns due to COVID-19.

Field and Remote Trainings

This month, HOT Philippines conducted OSM and field mapping trainings for six local government units: San Simon (October 1-2), Mexico (October 6-7), Sasmuan (October 13-14), Masantol (October 22-23), Macabebe (October 22-23), and Santo Tomas (October 22-23). On days when field trainings overlap schedules across municipalities, one of our Data Validation Leads, Honey Fombuena, helps in training volunteers from LGUs.


Aside from field trainings, HOT Philippines also conducted remote mapping trainings for German Red Cross volunteers on 6, 8, and 9 October.

Field Mapping and Data Collection

As of this writing, the field mapping team is mapping Lubao, their sixth scheduled municipality in Pampanga. On 22 October, 2020 the team collected field data for critical lifeline infrastructures in three barangays (local administrative areas) near the Pampanga River.

In heavily populated and building-dense areas, collecting data for critical lifeline infrastructure alone can be time-consuming, but the team also values accuracy. “Halos buong araw nilakad namin ’tong daan dati kasi sobrang daming puwedeng ilagay [na data]” — We walked this road for almost a whole day before since there’s so much data we could gather — Mike Gabriel, one of the team’s Data Validation Leads, shared as their service vehicle ran through a long stretch of road on the way to the riverbank.

Aimon Pangan, one of the team’s Data Validation Leads, detailed the team’s increased efforts and their standardized procedure to collect field data faster. “Pinupuntahan namin ‘yung barangay hall tapos itatanong namin kung saan o paano madaling puntahan ‘yung [critical lifeline] infrastructures sa listahan [namin]. Pagkatapos, sasamahan na nila kami para madali.” — We go to the barangay hall to ask where and how to locate critical lifeline infrastructures on our list. Then, the locals come with us so it’s easier.

Lubao - Pampanga.jpg

Aside from collecting field data for PhilAWARE, HOT Philippines is also helping out with the OSMaPaaralan project by supplying data and validating schools in Pampanga. Some of the added information includes whether or not schools are used as evacuation centers.

Pampanga - Critical Lifeline Infrastructure - clockwise from top left.png

Added and updated critical lifeline infrastructures in Pampanga (clockwise from top left: Guagua, Bacolor, Sta. Ana, Porac)

Partnerships and Other Activities

Aside from fieldwork, HOT Philippines is also engaging in partnerships with other organizations in the Philippines. With the help of Adityo and Tri from HOT Indonesia, HOT Philippines held a Road Mapping Event with MMC. The team is also building a network with AUDEO and the Philippine Coalition for Volunteerism, and has recently confirmed advertising partnership with MapBeks for #UNMAPPEDPH 2020 Mapping Contest.

For more updates on the PhilAWARE project, follow them on Facebook @HOTOSMPhilippines and Twitter @hotosm_ph. You can view the team’s day-to-day photo and video updates in the Field: Pampanga highlight feed on Instagram @hotosm_ph.