UP studies aim to make resilient communities

| Written by Padayon UP

WITH water shortage, fire and flooding as top concerns in Metro Cebu, the University of the Philippines (UP) Cebu aims to help make communities and local government units (LGUs) more resilient through its researches.

This was underscored by research groups from the state university during the Communicating Science and Technology, Research & Development (CoST-UP) Media Brunch on Friday, April 26.

The activity aims to bridge the academe and society through media by highlighting the practical applications of the scientific researches undertaken by members of the UP academe.

It also seeks to show how science is essential in meeting sustainable development challenges.

“All our researches here are really more of real solutions for real problems. … Gone are the days when the usual concept of research was that it was just there for the cabinet. We would like to link science to the public and appreciate what science can do for all of us,” said lawyer Liza Corro, UP Cebu Chancellor.

Researches presented included hazard mapping in Western Visayas using light detection and ranging (LiDAR) technology, Cebu water source mapping and assessment, urban fire hazard mapping and spread modelling, molecular diagnostics and research, and the UP Cebu cybersecurity project.

While there may have been several earlier studies on water, Ryan Ciriaco Dulaca said their objective is to generate maps of potential water sources in Cebu and to characterize the discharge or recharge profile of major river basins in the province.

Dulaca and his team have been working on their project for the past three years. To date, they have already generated groundwater potential maps of 46 municipalities in the province.

Dulaca, though, pointed out that they still have to conduct geo-resistivity tests (identifying soil type, elevation and density, among others), which means they still have to go to these sites to validate and look into how much water is present in these potential areas.

“The ultimate goal is to come up with a policy that will help our administrators. This study would serve as one of the bases for the (proposed) Provincial Water Ordinance, particularly on the regulation of water extraction activities for the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office,” he added.

Meanwhile, Aileen Joan Vicente said their mobile application “Firecheck” aims to improve fire response, especially in urban areas through research-based information.

“Firecheck uses a more scientific method in identifying fire-stricken areas, making it more efficient. It will also help LGUs identify new measures perhaps by training more fire volunteers, (and having) longer hoses and dry pipes, among others for firefighters,” she said.

The project had its pilot run in Barangay Basak, Lapu-Lapu City and is set to be rolled out to 19 more barangays in Lapu-Lapu, and 27 and six barangays in the cities of Mandaue and Cebu, respectively.

The LiDAR technology, on the other hand, improves the detection of floods as it produces flood models and simulations.

Jonnifer Sinogaya, UP Cebu College of Science dean, said the technology scans the surface of the earth and with the input of rain, they will be able to detect the extent of flooding.

He added that they plan to present their studies to LGUs in Cebu as well as to the Department of the Interior and Local Government to serve as guide in the implementation of laws or in amending legislation on zoning, conservation of protected areas and water conservation. (RTF)

(This was originally posted at Sunstar on April 27, 2019.)