PHIL LIDAR 2 Program wins Asia Geospatial Excellence Award

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) once again received the Asia Geospatial Excellence Award for 2015 through for its R&D program, PHIL LIDAR 2: Nationwide Detailed Resources Assessment using LiDAR. The award is given to various institutions to recognize the exemplary innovations and practices in the Geospatial industry in the Asia Pacific at the Annual GeoSmart Asia (Formerly Asia Geospatial Forum).








The award was received by Dr. Ariel C. Blanco, PHIL LIDAR 2 Program Leader last September 29, 2015 during the Inaugural Session of GeoSmart Asia 2015 Conference, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Dr. Blanco presented a paper on Geospatial Technologies in Natural Resources Assessment, Environment and Climate Change Related Studies highlighting the PHIL LIDAR 2 Program.

Last year, UP-TCAGP and DOST received two prestigious awards for the Nationwide Disaster Risk Exposure and Assessment for Mitigation (DREAM) Program, namely, the Geospatial World Excellence in Policy Award and the Asia Geospatial Excellence Award. Both were awarded in recognition of the remarkable efforts made by the researchers lead by its program leader, Dr. Enrico C. Paringit. These awards were also recognized by the Philippine government, hence, creating the “House Resolution No. 194 Resolution Commending the DOST for Winning the Prestigious Geospatial World Excellence in Policy Implementation Award for 2014, for its DREAM Program.”

Same award was received also by the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and NASA (Earth Science Division-Applied Sciences Program) in 2013.

During the GeoSmart Asia 2015 Conference, Ms. Mary Joy Buitre, Science Research Specialist 1 of the Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology also presented PHIL LIDAR 2 in a separate session, G-Governance and Smart Applications. Engr. Merriam M. Santillian and Engr. Jojene Santillan of the Caraga State University (CarSU) presented PHIL LIDAR 1 during the technical session for Climate Change and Disaster Management.


The award-winning DREAM and PHIL LIDAR Program were also highlighted during the 3-day exhibit. Guests and participants from various countries visited the exhibit display and was impressed on the huge R&D efforts being initiated by the DOST. DSC07416DSC07457DSC07682DSC07489





The PHIL-LIDAR 2 Program

PHIL-LIDAR 2 complements existing programs of various national government agencies and assists local government units in mapping the Philippines’ natural resources. State-of-the-art technologies such as LiDAR and other remote-sensing and GIS technologies are used to generate high-resolution resource maps and resource vulnerability maps. These provide detailed assessment of the country’s natural resources such as high-value agricultural crops, coastal resources, forest, hydrological and renewable energy resources. Further, these will help formulate recommendations and address future local supply and demand in agriculture, coastal, forest, and renewable resources through the collaboration of State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) and private higher education institutions (HEIs) in processing and validating LiDAR data and development of resource valuation models. Phil-LiDAR 2 is one of the biggest collaboration of a multi-disciplinary pool of researchers coming from different provinces of the Philippines.

A total of 769 researchers and experts were trained in the PHIL LIDAR program. It is considered first of its kind and the biggest collaboration of multidisciplinary researchers and experts from public and private academic sector of the country. The program is also supported by national government agencies: Department of Agriculture; Department of Environment and Natural Resources; Department of Energy; and DOST.

The program capacitated researchers and engineers to utilize LiDAR and other remote sensing/GIS data for resource inventory and vulnerability assessment. The development of regional hubs of LiDAR data processing and mapping services intends to sustain human resource capability. They will address the needs of the local communities for accurate and updated geospatial information.

A total of 32 agricultural maps were distributed to beneficiaries during the Agricultural Mapping Forum and Turnover Ceremony held last July 21-22, 2015. It was participated in by policy-makers, municipal planners, SUCs / HEIs and media.


Written by: Mary Joy C. Buitre

Photos from: Di-Ann Suarez and Mary Joy C. Buitre

Edited by: PCIEERD Information Group


PHIL LiDAR 2 Agricultural Mapping Forum and Turn Over Ceremony


21-22 July 2015, Engineering Theater, UP Diliman and Eastwood Richmonde Hotel, Quezon City

A fresh start in supporting the effort of the national government in resources assessment, Nationwide Detailed Resource Assessment using LiDAR, also known as PHIL LiDAR 2 conducted the Agricultural Mapping Forum and Maps Turnover last July 21-22, 2015 at the University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman and Richmonde Hotel, Eastwood, Quezon City respectively.

The Agricultural Resources Extraction from LiDAR Surveys or PARMap Project under PHIL LiDAR 2 successfully produced initial sets of Agricultural Land Cover maps distributed to the selected Local Government Units (LGUs). These maps also included electronic copies in the form of shape files and .kmz files that are useful for the planning activities of the municipal agricultural officers. Prior to its turn-over, maps were subject to validation and verification by the LGUs. The Agricultural Mapping Forum held in UP Diliman on July 21, served as their venue for collaboration with the participating LGUs in order to ensure that the use of maps and the sharing agreement is clearly understood.


Agricultural Mapping Forum, July 21, UP Diliman Engineering Theater

The activities during the Agricultural Mapping Forum held in Engineering Theater, UP Diliman are as follows:

  • Introduction of PHIL LIDAR 2 Program by Dr. Ariel C. Blanco
  • Overview of GIS: Data and Applications by Engr. Edgardo Macatulad
  • Presentation of PARMap Data and Processes
  • Forum: LGU Participation, Needs, Assistance and Other Concerns in using and updating the Data
  • Breakout Session
  • Per Cluster (Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao) Presentation

During the breakout session, participants were divided per cluster: Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. Breakout session was conducted in order to thoroughly discuss with the LGUs how the maps were produced, how to use it for their planning and how they can help in updating the maps.

Turnover Ceremony, July 22, Richmonde Hotel Eastwood

The turnover ceremony which proceeded in the second day were attended by the DOST officials, selected LGUs, participating PHIL LiDAR 2 implementing institutions from the fifteen (15) SUCs and HEIs.

The DOST was grateful to be a forefront of the administration in safeguarding the nation’s development through S&T and innovation.

Dr. Rowena Cristina L. Guevara, Undersecretary for S&T Services, who gave her opening remarks, expressed her gratitude to the PHIL LiDAR 2 Program team in making the event possible at the early stage of its implementation. On her message, she informed that a total of 32 agricultural resource maps were produced for distribution to the selected LGUs. She also shared that through the Agricultural Mapping Forum, they were able to enhance the capabilities of the LGUs in using the maps.

“It is important that our LGUs know how to interpret the maps so they can effectively use them for planning and decision making,” said Usec. Guevara.

She also stated that the agricultural resource maps will deliver them accurate and updated information for them to have better management of resources in relation to the hazards brought by the natural calamities.

In its desire to preserve and support the natural resources, DOST Secretary Mario G. Montejo, also gave his message and stressed the importance of S&T services for the people and for the country by producing technology that helps lessen the casualties when calamities strikes. According to him, by using the valuable LiDAR data for resource assessment, it is more than maximizing the use of the data but also for building back better for the next generation through Science and Technology.

Furthermore, Sec. Montejo is very hopeful that through the turnover of maps, the country’s natural resources are best managed and assessed.

Aside from having Sec. Montejo and Usec. Guevara to grace the event, it became more significant with the presence of Senator Cynthia Villar, chairperson of Agriculture and Food Committee in the Senate. As part of the continuous support of Senator Villar, who has greater sympathy to the farmers and fisher folks and is very much into poverty reduction, agrees that mapping the Philippine Resources will be very useful to various applications and will truly benefit various sectors as she took as an example the agriculture that will be useful to irrigation assessment and aquaculture production.

Sen. Villar acknowledged the use of LiDAR, other methodologies and the importance of S&T based Research and Development in the growth and development of the country. She said that through this innovations and pioneering technologies, the lives of farmers and fisherfolks will improve by making their work easier, growing their earning ability, also by generating new opportunities and income by opening new markets for them.

All the three distinguished guest speakers also mentioned about the damages and casualties becomes crucial due to stronger typhoons. Hazard mapping of the Philippines or Phil LiDAR 1 produces accurate, detailed, and high resolution maps with early warning systems, flood hazard, and inundation maps that will be a great help in preparation and mitigation for lesser to zero damage or casualties in the future. Progressively, the aim is to aid the country’s next generation for them to have a better place to live in.

Also present in the Turnover Ceremony are Assistant Secretary of the DOST Raymund Liboro and Carlos Primo C. David, Executive Director of PCIEERD. Both joined the stage for the ceremonial turnover of the maps for the LGUs.

The team expects that Phil LiDAR 2 will be more sustainable and responsive in utilization of space technologies for improved natural resource assessment of the country.

The program ended with a closing remarks from the PHIL LiDAR 2 Program Leader, Dr. Ariel C. Blanco.

Written by: Ms. Jenny Leigh Daquioag

Photos by: For. Roven D. Tumaneng I


USC Phil-LiDAR 2 hosted joint workshop with DENR

USC Phil-LiDAR 2 team and DENR VII representatives conduct workshop to explore possibilities of cooperation.
USC Phil-LiDAR 2 team and DENR VII representatives conduct workshop to explore possibilities of cooperation.

The University of San Carlos (USC) Phil-LiDAR Research Center hosted a workshop with Department of Environment and Natural Resources Regional Office VII (DENR – VII) last April 15, 2015 at Josef Baumgartner Learning Resource Center, University of San Carlos Talamban Campus. The workshop aims to explore possible areas of cooperation between the two agencies.

The DENR-7 representatives present in the meeting were headed by Mario V. Aragon, Chief of Conservation and Development Division. Both parties briefly presented current programs, projects, and researches. They also discussed and outlined a subsequent collaborative action to areas of cooperation. Both agreed that a cooperation agreement will be written between the parties to cooperate on data sharing, field validation, mentoring, and training.

(Article from USC Phil-LiDAR 2, Edited by Hector Brizuela, PCIEERD)

Phil-LiDAR 2 Mindanao Cluster conducts 1st colloquium

Central Mindanao University and Caraga State University co-hosted the 1st Mindanao Cluster Colloquium
Central Mindanao University and Caraga State University co-hosted the 1st Mindanao Cluster Colloquium

The Central Mindanao University (CMU) hosted the 1st Phil-LiDAR 2 Mindanao Cluster Colloquium on April 15-17, 2015 in Maramag, Bukidnon. Caraga State University (CSU) co-hosted the activity with CMU.

In a message prepared by Engr. Nelson Beniabon, Chief Science Research Specialist of PCIEERD read during the program, he highlighted the importance of Phil-LiDAR 2 in providing support to industries in the region.

“By providing a comprehensive map of the resources in the region, we are giving decision makers, innovators, and investors a bird’s eye view of where they can start. Through S&T’s innovative ways, we help in promoting development in the region and in the country as a whole”, he said as quoted in the message.

The Colloquium was attended by more than eighty (80) participants from different Phil-LiDAR participating higher education institutions (HEIs). Among these HEIs are Ateneo de Zamboanga University (ADZU), Mindanao State University – Iligan Institute of Technology (MSU-IIT), University of the Philippines Mindanao (UPMin), and the hosts, CMU and CSU.

Among the activities done during the colloquium are presentation of techniques and updates of the project and visit to project facilities of CMU. The program was concluded with a field validation exercise at the Dahilayan Nature Park in Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon.

Also present in the event are project representatives of Phil-LiDAR 2 Program from UP Diliman and representatives from PCIEERD.

(Hector Manuel Jon C. Brizuela, PCIEERD)

UP Cebu to host Phil-LiDAR 2 Visayas Cluster Colloquium

The Oblation in front of the UP Cebu Administration building. (photo from UP Cebu website)

The University of the Philippines Cebu (UP Cebu) is set to host the Phil-LiDAR 2 Visayas Cluster Colloquium on March 31, 2015. The Visayas Cluster of Phil-LiDAR 2 holds a bi-monthly colloquium as an avenue for the technical personnel of each project to share knowledge and skills on processing, validation, and other procedures for the conduct of the project. The colloquium will be held at the UP Cebu Interactive Learning Center.

The Phil-LiDAR 2 Visayas Cluster is composed of three universities assigned to each region of Visayas: UP Cebu for Western Visayas, University of San Carlos (USC) for Central Visayas, and Visayas State University (VSU) for Eastern Visayas. Each university will present their techniques and knowledge on the event.

Phil-LiDAR 2 Luzon Cluster have recently concluded their first cluster-wide colloquium last March 13-14, while the Mindanao Cluster have scheduled their own colloquium on April. (HMJCB)

UPLB Phil-LiDAR 2 hosts 1st Luzon-wide Cluster Colloquium


The Phil-LiDAR 2 program conducted its 1st Luzon-wide Cluster Colloquium at Fersal Hotel, Puerto Princesa City on March 13 to 14, 2015. The colloquium, the first of its kind that is focused on a certain cluster, is hosted by the University of the Philippines Los Banos (UPLB) Phil-LiDAR 2 team.

The event is attended by Phil-LiDAR 2 project personnel from different participating higher education institutions (HEIs) in Luzon namely, Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU), Isabela State University (ISU), Central Luzon State University (CLSU), Mapua Institute of Technology (MIT), and Ateneo de Naga University (ADNU). The event is also attended by project leaders from the University of the Philippines Diliman (UPD) and monitors from the Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development PCIEERD)under the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).

UPLB Phil-LiDAR 2 Project Leader Dr. Damasa Macandog graced the event with her opening remarks. She underscored the need for coordination among projects as the Phil-LiDAR 2 is a project which would greatly benefit the development of the country. “Ang project (Phil-LiDAR 2) ay may malaking impact kaya kailangan natin mag coordinate ng activities for the success of the project. This is a great contribution to the development of our country”, Macandog said.

Phil-LiDAR 2 is a DOST-funded project which aims to map out resources of the country. The 3-year project aims to identify resources for agriculture, coastal, forest, rivers, and to identify potential areas for renewable energy production. The colloquium aims to unify the efforts of all HEIs in the activities for Phil-LiDAR 2 in Luzon and to cooperate for a more dynamic conduct of the project. Updates and progress are reported by each attending HEI.

(Hector MJC Brizuela/Edgilyn Alcasid, PCIEERD-DOST)

ISU Phil-LiDAR 2 hosts PARMap Field Monitoring Activity

The PARMap team from UP Diliman conducted a monitoring workshop activity at the ISU Phil-LiDAR project site at ISU, Echague, Isabela on January 26–30, 2015. The objectives were to monitor the progress and identify the current extent of mapped areas in the different provinces covered by the project, check the workflows and methodologies currently implemented,  provide technical guidance on software management and support to the project staff. Additional methodologies and RS techniques may be introduced when necessary and discuss new methods implemented.

The ISU Phil-LiDAR 2 with trainers from UPD PARMap for the Phil-LiDAR 2 mentoring at Isabela State University, Echague, Isabela. (photo from ISU Phil-LiDAR 2)

The workshop commenced with Ms. Coleen Carranza of UPD PARMap presenting the purposes of their monitoring visit. ISU SRS Ms. Villasita Policarpio presented updates on the PARMap done by the ISU team where shed showed a monitoring matrix used to systematically monitor the status from pre-processing using LAStools and ArcGIS up to feature classification using ENVI and eCognition.

The UPD team collected information on available datasets, software, hardware of ISU and established ISU team members who will be key contact person for the PARMap component.

Mr. Eric Tanada presented his outputs from Pixel-based classification using the Landsat and the Object Based Classification using LiDAR and Orthophoto datasets.  Ms. Coleen Carranza then presented the different rule sets they performed in eCognition in processing LiDAR data using the ISU LiDAR datasets. They explained each rule set and the results of the processed LiDAR and Landsat data.

(article from ISU Phil-LiDAR 2 with editing from PCIEERD)