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The National Research Council of the Philippines (NRCP) brings the Regional Basic Research Caravan (RBRC)  to all parts of the country in order: (1) to share the results of an NRCP funded project which will be of interest to the region, (2) to promote science and evidence-based policy making; (3) to disseminate and enhance awareness on the priority regional R&D agenda; and (4) to inform local researchers, scientists and artists that NRCP is an opportunity to do research and research translation for the benefit of the Filipino people. NRCP’s efforts such as this ensure community engagement and collaboration among regional LGU’s to promote the importance of scientific researches in finding solutions to society’s basic and common problems.

On May 31, 2022, the Council in cooperation with DOST Regional Office No. IX, featured the research project of Dr. Noelynna T. Ramos titled, “Investigation of Potential Paleo-Tsunami Deposits in Western Philippines and their Implications for Large-Magnitude Offshore Earthquakes.” Dr. Ramos is a Regular Member of NRCP Division of Earth and Space Sciences and the Director of UP National Institute of Geological Sciences. The RBRC was conducted in a hybrid setup at Meeting Room 5, PICC, Pasay City.

The study establishes geological evidence of the country's worst historical tsunami, the 1976 Moro Gulf tsunami, which contributes to our knowledge of tsunami deposits in tropical settings. Sedimentological data on the potential extreme wave events wash over deposits in western Mindanao Island serve as fundamental information in understanding the processes and mechanisms of extreme wave events in this region.

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In photo: Dr. Noelynna Ramos, NRCP Regular Member of Earth and Space Sciences Division (researcher) and Dr. Gerry Petilla of NRCP (host)

  “We should regularly assess the hazardscape and risk profile of an area and develop a site-specific, research-based, inclusive, and proactive coastal management strategy and plan”, Dr. Ramos explained. To sum up the policy recommendations of the research, Dr. Ramos stated that awareness and preparedness are the foremost in disaster risk reduction.

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In photo: Ms. Ma. Cristina Uson, Senior Weather Specialist of PAGASA (reactor)

Ms. Ma. Cristina Uson, Senior Weather Specialist of PAGASA agreed with Dr. Ramos that extreme waves associated with tsunamis have the potential to cause extensive remodeling and repositioning of the shoreline environment as well as landform causing significant damage to human infrastructure and threat to life.

“With the application of the results from Dr. Ramos’ research, the impact of extreme waves on sedimentary and rocky coasts can be substantial that this can be transported and deposited at some distance in land. This characteristic provides clue to the nature of extreme events and provide information about the periodicity of similar events”, she further added.

Meanwhile, Mr. Ricardo J. Apolinario III, Science Research Specialist I of DOST Region IX, reported the harmonized research, development and innovation agenda, success stories of R&D in the region, and the updated and future plans of DOST-IX. He cascaded the report regarding the regional issues to be addressed with research, and that which aligns with the R & D priority areas of NRCP’s National Integrated Basic Research Agenda (NIBRA). Most of the concerns fell under the agricultural, health and disaster risk reduction and management sectors.

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In photo: Mr. Ricardo Apolinario III, Science Research Specialist I of DOST-IX

On one hand, DOST Undersecretary for Regional Operations Engr. Sancho O. Mabborang graced the event and shared the efforts of the department of fostering S&T Culture in the regions.

“With the changing STI landscape in the regions, the paradigm shift from peer-centric to a more society-centric R&D and demand-driven technology development, we are charting towards a more R&D centered operations for the regions to close the gaps”, Usec. Mabborang expressed as he reported the DOST regional offices’ efforts to engage in R&D in the regions. Further, he expressed his gratitude to NRCP as the DOST’s arm in crafting, soliciting, and implementing policies among others to mainstream DOST-RO’s initiatives in expanding its reach.

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In photo (left, right) DOST Undersecretary for Regional Operations Engr. Sancho O. Mabborang:       Dr. Marieta Bañez-Sumagaysay, NRCP Executive Director

DOST-NRCP Executive Director Dr. Marieta Bañez-Sumagaysay, in her message, reiterated that the Council is working hard in a proactive and responsive manner to achieve the vision to address the demand for knowledge, skill and innovation to effectively and efficiently contribute to nation-building and the improvement of the quality of life of the Filipino people by 2025. She emphasized that actions, whether they be policy or project implementation, require the convergence of efforts from many stakeholders and only through joint efforts will this vision be realized.

NRCP Membership, Basic Research Information Translation for Empowerment in the Regions (BRITER) Program, NRCP Science and Technology Experts' Pool (NSTEP), and the RDLead Program were also discussed in this RBRC episode.

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