CHED Funds Aklan River Research
“Digital Technology Application in Research” is the topic Part I of the weekly Kapihan forum held at Carmen Hotel, Northwestern Visayan Colleges (NVC) on August 18, 2012. The guests are: Dr. Eva G. Guanzon, Research Coordinator–NVC, Dr. Elsa I. Abayon, Research Director– Aklan State University (ASU), Dr. Rosalina R. Atos, Asst. Professor/Researcher–ASU, Dr. Ma. Rema B. Lauron, Asst. Professor/Researcher–ASU, Dr. Reinalda I. Magdaluyo, Dean–NVC, and Ms. Ramona S. Magayanes–Rotary Club of Kalibo (RCK). On hand to welcome the guests and attendees is Atty. Allen S. Quimpo–NVC President.
Dr. Abayon explained the current baseline research on psycho-chemical characteristics of Aklan river originating from the hinterlands of Libacao to its final exit point in Kalibo. The research is funded by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) for P1.3 million. The one year research program is a collaborative effort among academic institutions – NVC, Aklan Catholic College, ASU and government agencies – DPWH, DENR, DOST – Philippine Nuclear Research Institute.
The study is divided into three (3) sectoral priorities namely: a) Biodiversity headed by Dr. Rosalina R. Atos, b) Socio-economic and Cultural Profile – Dr. Celedonia Hilario, and c) Geo-morphology and Hydrology – Dr. Ma. Rema B. Lauron.
The Biodiversity study is focused on flora and fauna, identification of indigenous species as well as invasive ones. Socio-economic research hopes to gather data on population, farming activities and practices affecting soil and productivity. Geomorphology and hydrology will shed light on types of soil, conditions of water, volume of water flow as influenced by rainfall.
Research data will be collated and processed through digital techno-logy. It will be accurately analyzed and reported in readable form. The output of research and their recommendations will be presented to the stakeholders for validation. The final document will be submitted to the Provincial Governor and Chairperson, Aklan Rivers Development Council for their information and favorable action, Dr. Abayon said.
Dr. Guanzon confirmed the research study on the Aklan river will form part of CHED’s Higher Education Institute Researches in Region 6. The seminar workshop on digital technology involving research students and instructors in both public and private schools will be held on Sept. 6 and 7 in Boracay, Malay aimed to heighten awareness and interest of youth to its main agenda like quantitative and qualitative research.
Dr. Lauron said, Aklan river has 3 ecological zones which are: a) Libacao and its hinterland tributaries, b) Banga, and c) Kalibo. Each has a distinctive physical and social environment where data will be grouped and independently analyzed. The goal is to make research project accurate, reliable and credible to benefit Aklanons averred the Lady educator.
It is a welcome development that research studies on Aklan river are all headed by women. Gender-wise, it appears that women are experts, knowledgeable and embued with a far noble vision to care about the environment than men. Kool earth for instance is an advocate group composed of women volunteers. The same is true with Samahan ng Kababa-ehan sa mga Barangay ng Kalibo. Someday, women enforcers will be used to persuade squatters to relocate from potential disaster prone areas like riverbanks to higher safe ground.
Meteorological data on rainfall pattern over a period of time and elevation of riverbanks will provide accurate guide whether to allow certain low lying areas in Banga, Kalibo and Numancia to be overtaken by informal squatters where garbage disposal and crimes are number one concern.
The research study of one year practically scans the surface so to speak. It takes a minimum of 5 years to take on a more credible and meaningful research. Inherent weakness lies in the meager funding which would allow hiring of full time research scientist, analysts and data encoders who are provided with equipment to expedite data collection/retrieval.
Aklan river is described as meandering, changing course in two to three directions during dry months. However, in monsoon season, it becomes an intimidating force causing widespread loss of lives and properties like Typhoon Frank on June 21, 2008. Otherwise it is tapped for land reclamation, job generation, food production, irrigation, hydropower, potable water, tourism, fisheries and quarrying. All these significant economic activities are potentials in all 17 river ecosystems in each town to the community and nation in general.
The on-going research has its limitations and weaknesses but overall can be an invaluable document to know our water resource from a scientific perspective and methods to develop it wisely and effectively.
Part II of the forum was the presentation of mechanics of the Annual Journalism Awards and its formal launching by APCI Pres. Megs Lunn, Dr. Ambrosio R. Villorente, Atty. Allen S. Quimpo, and Dennis Lim – president, RC Kalibo represented by Dr. Mona S. Magayanes. The Annual Journalism Award is being sponsored by the APCI, Rotary Club of Kalibo and NVC. /MP