Answered prayer

PERSPECTIVE - Cherry Piquero Ballescas - The Freeman

Thank God for an answered prayer related to our proposed Disaster Relief Tracker we wrote about in our previous column.

We would like to extend our sincere gratitude to DOST Secretary Boy de la Peña who kindly shared the following precious information posted in a link of the DOST-PCIEERD:

“Project Ramdam or Resource Allocation Management, Distribution, and Monitoring is now on Google Play!

The system, developed by Geographic Innovations for Development Solutions, Inc. (GrIDS) in partnership with DOST, is a COVID-19 initiative composed of a mobile app and a web portal that could serve as a platform for residents and LGUs to share accurate information regarding relief packs and cash assistance distribution.

  The system aims to provide efficient data management and monitoring for the LGUs and feedback and request mechanism for the residents. The team field tested this innovation in some barangays of Los Baños, Laguna and is currently preparing the pilot testing results for possible nationwide implementation.

For more information, please send an email to the team through [email protected]

While the initiative was developed as a response to COVID, this can be expanded to cover any other assistance program of government and even other sectors. Project RAMDAM is ready, tested and can be used by all to report, document and monitor any relief assistance from now on.

We hope LGUs and other sectors have been informed about Project RAMDAM. More importantly, we hope all LGUs are required to link with this project and use the app so as to ensure that all those affected by any disaster from hereon are completely assisted whoever they are, wherever they are.

Project RAMDAM is also inclusive, allowing all, anyone, to share accurate, confirmed information about relief assistance in their areas. Again, we hope public information has been done and regularly offered to the public for their active participation as well.

This valuable DOST-PCIERRD project which can provide  documentation and monitoring of who are assisted, where, by whom and where else assistance should be extended can also be expanded to include information about donors (local and global) and funding, thereby encouraging transparency and accountability at all levels, from barangays, LGUs to national government.

This project can also provide data about who, which sectors/organizations are providing what type of assistance, where, when, how and for whom! Such important data can be shared locally and globally to provide a wider, more informed platform for assistance from hereon.

 Mapping of such data will, hopefully, ensure that no one is left behind in terms of assistance and support, that there is no duplication or overconcentration of assistance for the same beneficiaries and communities.

 If expanded, the Project may also be able to learn more about various types of assistance for relief and recovery and use these insights to guide future programs and policies.

For example, various groups providing assistance have shared info about their relief packs, the cost, the contents, for how many families, where. Such comparative data about relief packs can provide lessons on transparency, accountability, and just as importantly, on the suitability of the relief goods to the needs of the intended beneficiaries: if age, gender, health, eco-friendly and appropriate.

As hoarding and unreasonable price hikes appear during post-disasters, relief assistance should have more government agencies like DTI, DA, others, actively coordinating and involved.

The data about which communities have been most affected can guide policies on house construction, making communities more resilient and ready for global-warming-related predictions of more super storms, surges, among others.

Restoration, rebuilding of people's lives and communities should be accompanied by climate action vs global warming.

So many to assist, so much to do, from now on.

No way to go but do all these united, coordinated, and committed to a better life for all, now and in the future.


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