Participants from different HEIs and GAs attentively listen during the proposal brainstorming session.

The Watershed and Water Resources Research, Development and Extension Center (WWRRDEC) joined the other government agencies (GA) in CAR such as National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) and Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), and Higher Education Institutes (HEI) in a brainstorming session to finalize the concept of the Mountain Engineering in the Cordillera Administrative Region. The session was conducted at El Cielito Hotel, Baguio City last January 15, 2020.

The activity was undertaken through the initiative of Regional Research, Development and Innovation Committee (RRDIC) to craft a proposal for the Niche Centers in the Regions for R&D (NICER) Program of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) which aims to provide institutional grant for R&D capacity building to improve science and technology infrastructure in the region. Dr. Pepita S. Pecpican, the Assistant Regional Director-Technical Services Division of DOST-CAR presented mountain engineering concepts which include mountain communities resiliency, mountain risk engineering, protecting biodiversity, and ecology and biotechnical stabilization. The criteria in the preparation of proposal anchored to these concepts should enhance the industry competitiveness, and should be unique to the region.

Four (4) concept proposals were then prepared under the program on “Mountain Engineering Solutions for Sustainable Development and Competitive Industries in CAR”. The WWRRDEC and University of the Cordilleras (UC) drafted a collaborative concept proposal titled “Water Resource Engineering Solutions to Spatio Temporal Challenges in the Cordilleras”. The proposal is geared to develop sustainable water supply system for waterless communities and tourist destinations in the Cordilleras; discover eco-friendly, cost effective, and traditional water supply treatment methods; create a water pollution and siltation monitoring and remediation system; and develop technology on wastewater processing system in the household or community level. The finalized Mountain Engineering concept proposal will be submitted to the DOST-PCIERD for evaluation and possible funding. Glady Mae V. Vijandre and Janice Otana, WWRRDEC