Despite movement restrictions in the country, HOT Philippines is able to continue training volunteers by identifying their needs and shifting training efforts online.
When COVID-19 was identified to be highly transmissible, many countries around the world were put on lockdown. In the Philippines, community quarantines — with varying levels of movement permitted — were put in place. To this day, the movement of citizens is still limited, especially when traveling between areas with different levels of quarantine. Prior to these movement restrictions, HOT Philippines was meeting with and training members of various groups and organizations interested in volunteer work through OpenStreetMap. When the lockdowns were put in place, the team made an open call for online volunteers to work on remote mapping activities.
Continuing Basic OSM Training with UP Pahinungod
One of the groups that HOT Philippines has been working with prior to the implementation of the community quarantines in the country is the UPLB Ugnayan ng Pahinungod (UP Pahinungod). UP Pahinungod is the flagship volunteer service program of the University of the Philippines (UP). In Tagalog, “ugnayan” means “connection” or “binding.” “Pahinungod”, a Cebuano term, is the closest Filipino translation of “oblation” — the UP spirit and symbol of offering oneself to the nation.
On 7 March, HOT Philippines held a Basic OSM Training Session with UP Pahinungod using iD editor in UP Los Banos, attended by 20 volunteers.
After continuing engagement and talks of providing online training, HOT Philippines held another Basic OSM Training Session on 15 July. The event was held remotely this time via Google Meet, with 23 participants adding 2,489 buildings in OSM. The group worked on YouthMappers’ Task 5450, which aims to map food security in Puerto Princesa, Philippines.
After the training, participants are provided with certificates and the volunteer with the most number of buildings mapped is rewarded with HOT merchandise.
“I was nervous during the training because I might mess up, but it turned out to be okay. I really had fun and enjoyed mapping, since I got an area with lots of buildings!” —Sab Ceniza, volunteer mapper
Trainings with new DVLs, JSDEs, and IBM
The Philippine team also welcomed new members of the mapping team this month and has organized several JOSM and data validation trainings and exams throughout the month in preparation for the upcoming fieldwork for the PhilAWARE project. Most of the trainings were done online, and the team met in the office only during necessary field trainings.
HOT Philippines culminated this month’s online trainings with two OSM Trainings with IBM, both held on July 29, at 2-4 p.m. and 8-10 p.m. Philippine Standard Time.