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DoST-funded app taps citizens to monitor Manila Bay, other areas

A NEW Department of Science and Technology (DoST)-funded mobile app aims to monitor Manila Bay and its surroundings by letting citizens report environmental issues via the platform, its developers said on Friday.

The MASDAN app, which would be available to Android users soon, is part of the P10-million Project MapABLE, one of the four components of the IM4ManilaBay Program.

The IM4ManilaBay Program aims to use geospatial technology and citizen science in monitoring the water quality in Manila Bay, and its linked environments.

The MASDAN app is managed by the DoST-Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD).

“The goal of this mobile application is to crowd source or look for reports on various environmental issues in different portions of Manila Bay or the entire country… Citizens can report issues on algal blooms, fish kills, water hyacinth growth, and water pollution using the platform,” MASDAN app development team leader Jommer M. Medina said in Filipino during the app’s virtual launch on Friday.

He added that the public can also report about ongoing reclamation efforts and solid waste management issues affecting water quality in Manila Bay.

Using the app, citizens can record the location of the environmental issue and submit photos along with their reports.

“Government agencies would be able to see the places where these reports are distributed. These would prove to be useful later on when looking for hotspots or whether the government should embark on a more intensive program (in a certain area),” Mr. Medina said.

He said the mobile app was developed to benefit environmental monitoring agencies, local government units, environmental volunteers and organizations, and the public.

The MASDAN app is currently on its first version and while it can accommodate pictures, it has yet to allow the uploading of videos, backend developer Dominic C. Fargas, Jr. said.

“We understand that this platform can be used by stakeholders and citizens from the different sectors to report environmental concerns…This app is envisioned to promote citizen participation in monitoring and managing Manila Bay and its linked environments,” PCIEERD executive director Enrico C. Paringit said during the event. — Angelica Y. Yang

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