/ 26 September 2021

A GROUP of students from University of the Philippines System was included in the three winners of the Google Developer Student Clubs 2021 Solution Challenge for innovating a cloud-based disaster risk management system.

UP Systeam, composed of Rex Ronter Ruiz (UP Diliman), Jian Asiado (UP Los Baños), Joerian E. Gauten (UP Open University), and Patricia Marie C. Garcia (UP Visayas Miag-ao Campus), created a project called ‘Intervention for Systemic Evacuation (i-Rise)’.

The system was chosen based on the technology the students used and the project’s impact, which answers the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals- Sustainable Cities and Communities Climate Action.

i-Rise is a disaster risk management platform specially developed for the flooded islands of Tubigon in Bohol, according to project manager Ruiz.

Composed of a fabricated tide gauge, web application, as well as a mobile application, i-Rise monitors water and tide levels and automatically warns local authorities before high tides or extreme weather conditions.

It utilizes Google’s Flutter, Cloud Function, Cloud Firestore, and Firebase.

“Authorities can use the web application to collect information, broadcast evacuation instructions, and educate the populace, while residents can use the mobile application to report incidents and request for rescue during extreme conditions,” Ruiz explained.

During the project’s development, the team sought the advice of experts from Project NOAH and the Coastal Sea Level Rise-Philippines Project.

They also conducted collaborations with local government units and barangay officials, performed focus groups discussions and baseline information surveys, implemented testing of the system, and gathered user feedback.

Among the prizes UP Systeam won are a one-year subscription to Pluralsight, Google merchandise, customized mentoring from Google, a feature in the Google Developers Blog, a Chromebook, and a coffee chat with a Google executive.

i-Rise is currently in its first phase and the team aims to complete the rest of the project by next year.

Last June, the team was granted technical assistance by the Climate Technology Centre Network and the United Nations Environment Programme.

The 2021 Solution Challenge is an annual competition by Google Inc., where students create solutions for one or more of the UN SGDs.