RCEAID Newsletter
Two UCRD staff join climate change RND confab

Two staff from the University Center for Research and Development (UCRD), Dr. Elsie C. Pilar, and Engr. Rolando Javelonar, the Director and Assistant Director of UCRD respectively, attended a Climate Change Research and Development Conference held last November 29, 2011 at the Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU) Training Center, Batac City, Ilocos Norte.

Technical papers on potential impacts of climate change on agriculture and water resources among others were presented in the conference. Dr. Raul Alamban of Philippine Council for Agriculture & Aquaculture Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD) discussed the PCAARRD S&T Agenda on Climate Change. His paper emphasized that the life support systems such as agriculture, forestry and natural resources (AFNR) are highly vulnerable to climate change effects, thus an urgent need to take decisive actions to mitigate the threats and adapt to the consequences of climate change. He added that based from studies conducted, cost of inaction is greater than the cost of action.

Meanwhile, Dr. Nathaniel Alibuyog of MMSU presented two technical papers entitled "Assessment of Climatic Variability and its Potential Impact to Agriculture and Water Resources" and "Predicting the Hydrologic Response of the Laoag River Basin to Climate Change using the SWAT Model". The first study revealed that there is surplus water during the rainy season while deficit during the dry season and an increase runoff resulting from increase rainfall intensity or extreme events may aggravate water deficit during the season.

"Structures must be put in place to store excess rainfall and enhance infiltration and groundwater recharge to address water problem especially during the dry season”, Alibuyog said. On the other hand, his other study was on “Predicting the Hydrologic Response of the Laoag River Basin to Climate Change using the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) Model".

URC approves NWU Faculty Researches

Three research proposals presented by faculty researchers of the College of Business Education and the College of Arts and Sciences and from the University Center for Research and Development were approved by the University Research Council.

Dr. Eric Parilla of COBE presented his research proposal entitled Local Economic Development Through One-Town-One-Product (OTOP). His study will assess the economic impact of OTOP program of Ilocos Norte. Its focus will be on the selected towns of Ilocos Norte with strong OTOP program namely Laoag City, Batac City, Pinili and Paoay.

From the CAS, the research proposal of Dr. Ermelinda Arevalo on Paper Recycling Technology at NWU will continue the recycling technology of Northwestern University with egg trays as their products. The papers and newspapers will be gathered from different offices of Northwestern University and of the Province of Ilocos Norte. Her team is composed of Mr. Geronimo Castro and Mr. Joseph Allan Gamiao.

University conducts tree-planting

A university-wide tree planting activity with the participation of the different government organization was conducted at Kurkureng Spring Watershed, Brgy. Angset, Carasi, Ilocos Norte last August 13, 2011. Four hundred sixteen mabolo, anahaw, banaba, bit-taog, pakak, palosapis,and narra seedlings were solicited from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, NWU-Integrated Agriculture Development, NWU-Eco-Tourism Park and Botanic Gardens and CEAT-Computer Engineering Department. Moreover, the Northwestern University Multi- Purpose Cooperative (NWU-MPC) donated seedling bags and peg pens for the seedlings while the transportation facilities were provided by the university and the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR).

Students and faculty alike experienced falling on the muddy traps of the slippery road, itchiness and skin irritations from tall bushes and getting cuts from sharp stones that lined the road. These experiences served as a challenge in fulfilling the objective of the activity and it shows that the Northwestern University Community is determined to be of help to the community it serves.

Tree planting is one of the components of the Environmental Management Program of the University. The program is implemented to its adopted barangay, Brgy. Estancia of Piddig, Ilocos Norte. The main source of potable water of this barangay is from Kurkureng Spring Watershed located in Barangay Angset, Carasi, Ilocos Norte supplied through the Rural Water System, thus the sustainability of potable water is one of the objectives set by the Northwestern University Community Extension Center (NWUCEC). After an initial ocular, rehabilitating the spring to sustain the supply of potable water is found to be the priority and planting trees within the periphery of the spring could be the initial action that could be done by the NWUCEC. The tree planting activity then was initiated by the Computer Engineering Department of the College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology (CEAT) last year.

University celebrates National Statistics Month

Northwestern University through its Community Extension Center took part in the October 2011 National Statistics Month (NSM) Celebration with the theme, "Quality Social Protection Statistics for Focused Targeting: Improving Outcomes, Changing Lives."

Two Extension Programs were implemented during the month, Disaster Preparedness Seminar and Launching Program of Waste Management for a Cause with the theme "SA BA- SURA MO NAKASALALAY ANG KINABUKASAN KO."

Disaster preparedness seminar was conducted in Brgy. 42 Apaya, Laoag City last October 16, 2011 facilitated by NWUCEC , COME, Phil. Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration- Department of Science and Technology (PAGASA-DOST) and the Provincial Planning and Development Office, Province of Ilocos Norte.

Barangay Apaya is a flood-prone area and flood water reaches as high as 14 feet in Sitio Surgui with the Brgy. Hall serving as an evacuation area.

Engr. Randy Tolentino, a representative from the Provincial Capitol, discussed the importance of conducting the seminar on disaster preparedness. Meanwhile, Engr. Cynthia Iglesias, PAG-ASA DOST, showed some pictures of the different types of disasters. She explained the different warning, signals and weather forecast releases/aired by their office in which the residents should be prepared. Iglesias also cited some items, material, supplies that should be prepared during such calamities.

Workshop was conducted after the lecture and the barangay officials were given exercise on how to plot the coordinates to determine the actual location of the typhoon. They were also required to determine the number of families and a color coding (based on the average height of flood-water on the sitios) was assigned in the Barangay Map prepared by a student of the College of Maritime Education. Inventory of available facilities (i.e communication, vehicle) that could be used during disaster was encouraged.

NWU collaborates with CHED's GIA project

Northwestern University was chosen as one of the collaborating Higher Education Institutions in conducting the CHED Grants in Aid (GIA) Project titled Graduate Tracer Project of Selected HEIs in Region1 and CAR (2005-2008).

"Being a part of this GIA project is an added opportunity for NWU in expanding its linkage in research. The full support of the administration and the cooperation of the members of the NWU team spell the success on any undertaking", Elsie Pilar, Research Director, said.

The project, which started in April 2011, is to conduct a tracer survey of the graduates of selected Higher Education Institutions in Region 1 and CAR from SY 2004-2005 to SY 2007-2008. Among its specific objectives is to identify reforms/actions to be done by HEIs to address the issue of mismatch of skills. It is expected to be completed in 12 months .

"We are looking forward to more collaborative researches and it is hoped that this would inspire every member of the academe to start loving research", Lori Marseli De Castro, SVPAA, added.

The implementing institution of the GIA project is the University of Northern Philippines (UNP) with Ms. Alma Segismundo as the designated Project Leader. As a collaborating institution, NWU is entitled to an amount of P47,240.00 to conduct the study . The team leader, Dr. Elsie C. Pilar, is ably assisted by the deans of the different colleges in gathering the data.

Series of meetings were already held to organize and monitor the implementation of the project. The first meeting on May 26, 2011, the study leaders were informed of the participating schools on the approval and the release of the budget for the GIA project. The discussions focused on the approved budget and the construction of a Supplemental Agreement for GIA between the Implementing Institution, UNP and the Collaborating Institution, NWU. It further explained that the proposed budget for the GTS GIA project was P1,200,000.00. However, it was reduced to P900,000.00 and two HEIs were added in the group.

IAD Supports Environmental Management Program of NWU

To propagate 50,000 palosapis and bitaog seedlings

Integrated Agricultural Development through its Hilly Land Agro-Forestry Project in Piddig, Ilocos Norte supports the Environmental Management Program of Northwestern University.

IAD will propagate seedlings of Palosapis (Anisoptera thurifera) and Bitaog (Calophyllum inophyllum) aim at producing 50,000 seedlings of the two species to support the Executive Order No. 26 otherwise known as National Greening Program (NGP) of the country.

The Hilly Land Agro-Forestry Project of IAD was conceptualized to generate income to finance other similar undertakings. The project is located in a 21-hectare lot in Piddig.

The presence of more than a thousand duhat tress and about a hundred of palosapis indicates the suitability of propagation of seedlings of native species in the area.

The university has made its commitment to construct 3.5 m x 10 m nursery shed in Piddig to facilitate production of these species and to uphold the objectives of the NGP - poverty reduction, food security, biodiversity conservation and climate change mitigation and adaptation.

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