Article by: Nicole Yoon

Photograph from: http://www.ibtimes.com/after-typhoon-haiyan-philippines-economy-grows-slowest-pace-over-year-1489028

 When a natural disaster hits a country, a difference of one second could change the fate of a person’s life. Even in a disaster-susceptible country like the Philippines, where more than 20 typhoons occur every year, relief efforts start fairly slowly, which can potentially increase the number of people affected by such calamities. But thanks to Japanese technology, the Philippines can now take a step towards quick responses to natural disasters.

Dubbed the Integrated Services Digital Broadcast Terrestrial platform, this new broadcasting system will help the Philippines transition from analog to digital television technology. Such a system was first implemented in Japan in 2003, and since then, it has not only helped improve TV signals, but it has also been able to provide quick disaster relief systems Japanese households. If implemented, this technology would send early warnings to phones and other mobile gadgets and enable Filipino citizens to receive announcements and advisories from the government in disastrous times. However, in times of natural disasters, such as typhoons and earthquakes, it is possible that the electricity will no longer be available for use. In case of such events, TVs will be connected to a solar panel system to provide efficient and constant reports. Such reports will help guide relief teams to the locations they are needed and will inform citizens about what they should do to escape such catastrophes.

Despite the revolutionary features of this warning system, there are many setbacks to this new technology. Users may need to pay up to 1000 pesos for the digital TV sets, which may not seem a lot of money for such an advanced tool, but for those living in impoverished conditions, achieving such financial expenses may be difficult. Although there may be a time lag for how long it takes for the technology to be distributed among Filipino citizens, having a centralized medium of communication will undoubtedly help alleviate the fatal effects natural disasters will have in the country.

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