Last January 12, 2020, Taal Volcano started to spew a large volume of ash, prompting Phivolcs to raise its alert level from 1 to 4 in 5 hours.
This leaves no choice for Taal Volcano’s neighbor towns and cities to leave their properties and evacuate. As days go by, the number of Taal volcano eruption evacuees rises to more than 190,000, providing needed assistance and information dissemination as fast as we can have become a priority for many and it is possible using our technology today.
For the College of Computing and Information Technology (CCIT) of FAITH Colleges in Tanauan, Batangas, designing a search app for evacuees and support for them is important.
The Bakwitfinder is a one-stop app created by the CCIT professors, students, and FAITH IT employees as a solution that will allow anyone in the country and even abroad to check out the profiles of the evacuation centers and, importantly, establish the whereabouts of their relative-evacuees.
The Bakwitfinder App also shows the evacuation center details such as the number of families, individuals, and the origin of evacuees located there and primary needs and concerns of evacuees in a certain area. You can also search and locate certain evacuees.
You can access their website here and you can also install the app at your android phone by scanning the QR code on their website.
FAITH CCIT Dean Alice Lacorte said that monitoring of donations, distribution of relief goods, and registration of other evacuees living with friends or relatives not registered in official evacuation centers will also be added to the features of Bakwitfinder.
According to Lacorte, if government authorities can verify and help provide an account of all the evacuees, Bakwitfinder will be able to fast-track its development. “The app’s effectivity is dependent on the data collected or gathered by the team so those encoded in the database can be searched.” Towards this end, Lacorte urges all LGUs and evacuation centers to provide assistance in completing data for the app. “We will need close coordination with government units who are handling the information of the evacuees,” she explained.
At the moment, Bakwitfinder now includes all 484 registered evacuation centers. FAITH CCIT, along with student scholars of the various Local Government Unit (LGU), is working on the clock to keep the database updated.
Lacorte said, “The possibility of another major disaster in the Philippines is not a matter of where, but when. By creating a database of these kinds of information, people affected will be given better assistance and evacuees that need more attention can be focused on.”