'Strong shield vs coastal hazards’: PH’s first coastal engineering R&D center to rise in Ilocos

Published June 23, 2021, 11:47 PM

by Charissa Luci-Atienza 

The Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCIEERD) bared Wednesday, June 23, the establishment of the country’s first coastal engineering and management research and development center in Ilocos Region.

Seawall collapsed along the shoreline of Santa, Ilocos Sur during the “Habagat” in August 2016. (Photo from DOST-PCIEERD/ Office of the Civil Defense Region 1 (OCDRO1) and Provincial Risk Reduction and Management Council)

The Coastal Engineering Research Center or CoastER Center is expected to undertake four projects that seek to address the impacts of storm surges and tsunamis to the country being one of the longest coastlines in the world.

The four projects are the following: Coastal erosion trends and management strategies; Assessment, instrumentation, and prediction of coastal flooding; Development of nature-based solutions for coastal protection, and Development of science-based decision support system as platform for coastal flood information and risk management.

“The research facility will spur the development of innovations that address coastal erosion, developing construction materials for coastal protection, policies, and guidelines to promote coastal resiliency. These projects are intended to protect resources from coastal flooding and improve the lives of people in coastal communities,” the DOST-PCIEERD said in a statement.

Seawall collapsed along the shoreline of Narvacan, Ilocos Sur during the enhanced monsoon rains in July 2015. ​(Photo from DOST-PCIEERD/ Office of the Civil Defense Region 1 (OCDRO1) and Provincial Risk Reduction and Management Council)

“It will also bolster the capability of Filipino engineers towards coastal engineering research by sending them to academic institutions for advanced studies,” it added. The Council noted that a master’s degree for coastal engineering is also being eyed to be developed.

The setting up of the research facility at the Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU) will be funded under the Department of Science and Technology’s (DOST’s) Science for Change Program (S4CP)-Niche Center in the Regions (NICER). The University of the Philippines (UP)-Diliman, Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Philippine Institute of Civil Engineers (PICE), University of Tokyo, and DOST will also be involved in the establishment of the facility.

“As a leader and preferred partner in enabling innovations that protect and equip Filipino communities, we deem that the CoastER Center will serve as a strong shield against coastal hazards. Once the innovations and strategies developed by the CoastER Center are tried and tested in the Ilocos Region, other coastal communities all over the Philippines can benefit from this knowledge base as well,” said Executive Director Dr. Enrico C. Paringit.

Severely damaged seawall along City of San Fernando, La Union due to strong waves brought by Typhoon “Lando”. ​(Photo from DOST-PCIEERD/ Office of the Civil Defense Region 1 (OCDRO1) and Provincial Risk Reduction and Management Council)

The DOST-PCIEERD will be monitoring the implementation of the project.

“By 2024 and beyond, the center will upscale its developed technologies to include other municipalities in Region 1 and nearby provinces,” the Council said.

 
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