DOST banks on sub-agency’s P1.4-B tech program: 5 projects seen to yield high-value crops, more renewable energy sources, etc. in 2 years


The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) shifts its focus from disaster mitigation and prevention to the Philippines’ environment and natural resources.

Since middle of last year, the government agency has been leveraging technology for forest protection, production of high value crops, and discovery of renewable energy sources via a billion-peso program of the Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD), one of its attached agencies.

With Executive Director Dr. Cristina Guevara at its helm, PCIEERD has five projects underway, following the transformation of the Disaster Risk Exposure and Assessment for Mitigation 3D Mapping and Flood Modeling Project and its Light Detection and Ranging technology (DREAM-LiDAR) to Philippine LiDAR (PHIL-LiDAR) I and II.

PHIL-LiDAR ON THE FIELD – Central Luzon State University (CLSU) Phil-LiDAR 2 personnel conduct field validation activities in Llanera, Nueva Ecija.

The projects, based on information that Manila Bulletin gathered from PCIEERD information unit’s Senior Science Research Specialist Maria Elena Talingdan and PHIL-LiDAR II’s Engr. Charmaine Cruz, are:

SITE VISIT HUDDLE – For. Alex S. Olpenda, Dr. Enrico Paringit and Bukidnon Forest, Inc. Manager Vilma Lorca talk about the sites to be visited in Malaybalay City, Bukidnon.

Project 1, Agricultural Resources Extraction from LiDAR Surveys (ParMap) under Dr. Ariel Blanco;

Project 2, Aquatic Resources Extraction from LiDAR Surveys (CoastMap), Engr. Ayin Tamondong;

Project 3, Forest Resource Extraction from LiDAR Surverys (FRExLS), Dr. Enrico Paringit;

Project 4, Development of the Philippine Hydrologic Dataset (PHD) for Watersheds from LiDAR Surveys, Engr. Anjilyn Mae Perez; and

Project 5, Philippine Renewable Energy Resources Mapping from LiDAR Surveys (REMaps), Engr. Ma. Rosario Concepcion Ang.

The projects commenced in July 2014, and are expected to be completed in 2017. They were designed to come up with detailed maps of the country’s resources to be used for various applications, such as irrigation assessment and aquaculture production, along with expected results mentioned earlier.

Fifteen state universities and colleges and higher education institutions nationwide are implementing the projects through a memorandum of agreement with DOST-PCIEERD.

DREAM was the biggest of the nine components of Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards (Project NOAH), which is one of PCIEERD’s biggest undertakings. It had a budget of P1.6 billion from 2012 to 2014 and covered the country’s 18 major river systems.

DOST, in coordination with other government agencies and the University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman, created Project NOAH on President Benigno S. Aquino III’s directive following the devastation caused by Typhoon “Sendong” in Cagayan de Oro City and Iligan City in December, 2011.

DOST Secretary Mario Go Montejo immediately tapped local scientists, engineers, and researchers and some government agencies to comply with the directive to create a science and technology-based, real-time early flood warning system to save lives and properties.

Six months later, on July 6, 2012, Aquino and Montejo formally launched Project NOAH along the banks, appropriately enough, of the flood-prone Marikina River in Marikina City.

Through DREAM-LiDAR, DOST has produced over 5,000 3D Flood Hazard Maps for those river basins to serve as source of information on safe and risky areas in a particular community.

For the DOST-directed PHIL-LiDAR, PCIEERD allotted a budget of P1.4 billion from 2014-2016.

PHIL-LiDAR I continues to produce 3D Flood Hazard Maps, this time for the country’s nearly 300 minor river basins also for early flood warning, similar to those of the 18 major river systems.

Dubbed the Nationwide Detailed Resources Assessment using LiDAR (NDRA-LiDAR), PHIL-LiDAR II has branched into the country’s natural resources, such as agriculture, forest, coastal marine, water, and renewable energy, with five new projects under the PHIL-LiDAR II Program “aimed at providing detailed assessment of the natural resources of the Philippines,” according to PCIEERD.

PHIL-LiDAR II aims to produce high-resolution national resource maps using LiDAR and other remote sensing data, come up with vulnerability assessment maps for high-value crops and coastal resources, and formulate recommendations to help address future local supply and demand in agriculture, coastal, forest, and renewable resources.

Various government agencies benefit from PHIL-LiDAR II’s products or outputs, among them are the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration and the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, which are both DOST-attached agencies; the Department of Environment and Natural Resources; the Department of Agriculture; the Department of Public Works and Highways; the National Irrigation Administration; the Office of Civil Defense-National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council; and the Department of Interior and Local Government.

“LiDAR is a technology that we are committed to advance; it’s a state-of-the-art technology. Right now, our capacity-building is paying off, in terms of actual products that are being produced, specifically, for example, the multi-hazards data and assessment that we get from [it],” Montejo said. “We continue to advance this technology by way of coming up with more tools and applications that will directly benefit our country and meet the challenges.”


NegOcc to unveil business incubation center

Friday, January 23, 2015

UNIVERSITY of the Philippines (UP) System president Alfredo Pascual and Director Rowen Gelonga of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Region 6 will join Governor Alfredo Marañon in the opening of Negros Occidental’s Technology Business Incubation Center (TBIC) on January 26.

Councilor Jocelle Batapa-Sigue, executive director of Bacolod-Negros Occidental Federation for Information and Communications Technology (BNEFIT) and project proponent of the TBIC, said the facility is aimed to host local start-up companies engaged in information technology (IT) services (web design, systems and solutions), software development, game development and animation, among other IT activities.

Last year, the governor signed a mentorship agreement with UP Cebu to help in the capacity development of personnel and startup founders who will be part of the TBIC.

Also in 2014, BNEFIT signed a partnership agreement with DOST-6 for the ICT Start-Ups Equipment Support (ISES) Program that will provide equipment to startups at the TBIC.

The Negros First CyberCentre is the first facility proclaimed as an IT building by President Benigno Aquino III last June and accredited by the Philippine Economic Zone Authority which will also house an incubation facility.

After its launch, Batapa-Sigue said BNEFIT will already finalize the screening of qualified startups and assigned the equipment which is primarily composed of two sets of computers. Training under UP Cebu will also begin, and hopefully we can already identify venture capitalists and local clients in the Philippines and abroad.

Pascual will also present UP’s research project entitled “Project 7. LiDAR Data Processing and Validation under the program Phil-LiDAR 1 (Hazard Mapping of the Philippines Using LiDAR) and LiDAR Data Processing, Modeling and validation Under the Program Phil-LiDAR 2 (Detailed Resources Assessment using LiDAR) in Western Visayas.”

The Phil-LiDAR 1 and 2 are the components of the Nationwide Disaster Risk and Exposure Assessment of Mitigation (Dream) Program, one of the platforms of the Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazard’s Project (Project NOAH), which is supported by the DOST under the Grant-in-Aid Program.

Phil-LiDAR 1 has already covered all identified critical river basins in Negros Occidental during the first six months of the project implementation. For the second and third year of the project implementation, it will already cover all critical river basins in Iloilo, Antique, Capiz, and Aklan provinces, with additional areas like Iloilo and Guimaras.

In the first year of the LiDAR 2 project, the priority area is Negros Occidental. Using LiDAR images and other remote-sense data, preliminary assessment of the extent or coverage of high value and priority cops was done for agriculture, to include sugarcane, rice, corn and herbaceous crops. There was also a preliminary mapping of the coastal area that includes the mangrove forest and the near shore resources.


AdZU and UPD Phil-Lidar 2 Teams Conduct Joint Field Exercise


The Phil-Lidar 2 teams of the Ateneo de Zamboanga University and UP-Diliman conducted a joint field exercise in Barangay Patalon, at Ayala District in Zamboanga City.


The AdZU team has been in constant coordination with the Ayala District Agriculture Field Office to prepare for the activity. The head of the Ayala AFO Carmencita Sanchez and assistant Jaime Gaspar have expressed their office’s full support for the project. Barangay Patalon Chairman Gaudencio Rojas warmly welcomed the team to his barangay.

Phil-Lidar 2 RAs Ezzo Marc Hibionada and Judd Eduardo Guerrero accompanied the AdZU team composed of SRS Geoffrey Fabian, RAs Louie Gallardo, Felix Quibo-Quibo, Felix Jusay and Jan Edward Sousa. The team collected the coordinates of several pre-identified points on a grid with terrain ranging from beaches and river beds, to grasslands, corn fields and other crop areas.

The activity is part of the data gathering, processing and validation being done by the Phil-Lidar 2 team for resources mapping and assessment. AdZU is implementing the three-year project in Southwestern Mindanao including the Zamboanga Peninsula Region and potentially, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.

[article from ADZU Phil-LiDAR website]

CMU and UPD Phil-LiDAR 2 Joint Field Visit in Pine Forest Plantation in Bukidnon

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CMU Phil-LiDAR 2 and UPD FRExLS teams joint reconnaissance survey in pine forest plantation in Malitbog, Bukidnon

The Central Mindanao University (CMU) Phil-LiDAR 2 Project Leader For. Alex S. Olpenda together with two Research Associates (RAs) Jorge Andrew B. Cipriano and For. Mark Daryl C. Janiola conducted a joint reconnaissance survey with University of the Philippines Diliman (UPD) led by Dr. Enrico C. Paringit, Project Leader of Forest Resources Extraction from LiDAR Surveys (FRExLS). He was assisted by Engr. Carlyn Ann G. Ibañez (SSRS) and For. Mark Anthony V. Posilero (RA). The purpose of the survey was to identify possible sites for forest and tree analysis using LiDAR datasets.

For. Alex S. Olpenda, Dr. Enrico C. Paringit and Ms. Vilma Lorca, Manager of BFI talked about the sites to be visited in Malaybalay City, Bukidnon
For. Alex S. Olpenda, Dr. Enrico C. Paringit and Ms. Vilma Lorca, Manager of BFI talked about the sites to be visited in Malaybalay City, Bukidnon

The joint team visited two sites: A juvenile pine forest in Malaybalay City and a matured pine forest in Manolo Fortich. The pine forest plantations are owned and managed by the Bukidnon Forest, Incorporated (BFI), formerly financed and operated by the government of New Zealand before it became a GOCC.

PHOTO: CLSU Phil-LiDAR 2 conducts field validation in Nueva Ecija

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Central Luzon State University (CLSU) Phil-LiDAR 2 conducts field validation activities in Llanera, Nueva Ecija (photo from CLSU Phil-LiDAR2)

The Central Luzon State University Phil-LiDAR 2 team conducted the ground validation for areas in the towns of Llanera, and Rizal in Nueva Ecija last January 6 & 7, 2015. The ground validation is a process in which geographic data acquired through LiDAR and other remote-sensing equipment are validated through actual visiting and point-plotting in the field. Ground validation is necessary to ensure accuracy and validity of data being processed. As of press time, CLSU is conducting their field validation acitivities in the towns of Talugtug and Muñoz in Nueva Ecija.

CMU Phil-LiDAR 2 Team Visits Cotabato Province

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The Central Mindanao University (CMU) Phil-LiDAR 2 team conducted a courtesy call in the Provincial Government of North Cotabato as represented by the Provincial Administrator Mr. Van D. Cadungon last December 10, 2014. The team is headed by For. Alex S. Olpenda (Project Leader), Dr. Rico A. Marin (Project Staff), Jorge Andrew B. Cipriano (Research Associate) and Maryann Kaye P. Guinto (Project Development Officer).

The team were able to discuss the project with several provincial officials such as, the Provincial Agriculturist, Provincial Engineer and officials of the Planning and Development Office. Supporting data pertinent to the conduct of the project such as administrative and road network map were also acquired during the meeting.

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The team was also able to meet with the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) practitioners of the University of Southern Mindanao for possible linkages and collaboration.

Lastly, an initial ocular survey was done on some of the province’ major agricultural crops along the road including rubber, corn, rice and oil palm.

Article from CMU Phil-LiDAR 2

UPLB PHIL-LiDAR holds first series of In-house training

As part of UPLB team’s capacity-building for the UPLB PHIL-LiDAR project, a series of in-house trainings were conducted. The first of which was held last August 18-20, 2014 at the CHE Research and Extension Center Building, UP Los Baños. The training was titled “In-House Training of DREAM LiDAR Data Processes Training- LASTools: a Re-echo”.


This was also the first training together of both PHIL-LiDAR 1 and 2 teams in UPLB. The Senior Research Specialists (SSRSs) of UPLB PHIL-LiDAR 2 who attended the training on ‘DREAM LIDAR Data Processes Training-LAStools’ served as the resource speakers. In this three-day training, speakers re-echoed to both teams the use and benefits of LAStools in LiDAR data processing. The specialists also imparted new knowledge and strategies they have learned from Dr. Martin Isenburg.

The resource speakers were Mr. Ozzy Boy S. Nicopior, Mr. Milben A. Bragais, and Mr. Mic Ivan V. Sumilang.

Data processing training

Meanwhile, another in-house training for UPLB PHIL-LiDAR team took place at CHE Research and Extension Center Building, UP Los Baños on Aug 25-27, 2014. The three-day training was titled ‘Data processing of DEM and ASCII files’.

Ms. Leendel Punzalan served as the resource speaker in the training. She is a Research Associate from UPLB PHIL-LiDAR 1 team. This event was a re-echo of the training Ms. Punzalan has attended last July 30 to August 1, 2014 at UP Diliman.

This data processing training is significant for both teams to capacitate them in accomplishing one of their key outputs—validated Digital Elevation Models (DEM) for MIMAROPA and Laguna.

Data processing is an important component in producing a Digital Terrain Model (DTM), a sub-product of DEM, which will be essential for the flood modeling component.

Furthermore, the training also discussed three steps in data processing namely, Editing, Mosaicking, and Bathymetry.


ArcGIS training

To supplement basic information on the previous data processing training delivered by Ms. Leendel Punzalan of UPLB PHIL-LiDAR 1, the third in-house training for both UPLB PHIL-LiDAR teams was held on September 15, 18, and 19, 2014 at CHE Research and Extension Center Building, UP Los Baños.

Prof. Edwin R. Abucay, Project Leader of UPLB PhIL-LiDAR 1 (MIMAROPA-Laguna) and Mr. Ozzy Boy S. Nicopior, SSRS of UPLB PHIL-LiDAR 2 taught the basic principles of using the ArcGIS software in mapping.

The previous training briefly tackled the more technical aspects of the ArcGIS software. This training served as venue for leveling-off understanding and use of ArcGIS.

Article from UPLB Phil-LiDAR 2 release.