SLIS holds oathtaking for new dean

November 29, 2023
One hundred forty-five days after her appointment, Rhea Rowena U. Apolinario had her oathtaking on Nov. 20 at the UP Diliman (UPD) School of Labor and Industrial Relations auditorium. Apolinario is the 11th dean of the UPD School of Library and Information Studies (SLIS) whose appointment was approved by the UP Board of Regents at its 1382nd meeting on June 29. Apolinario. Photo by Jefferson Villacruz, UPDIO In his message to the SLIS constituents, UPD Chancellor Edgardo Carlo L. Vistan II said the school plays a pivotal role in shaping UPD’s future. “Aligning with my three-point agenda for UPD, we recognize the expertise of its community of faculty, students, administrative staff, and REPS (research, extension, and professional staff) in fostering the culture of persistence and innovation in teaching and research,” he said. Vistan also put his confidence in Apolinario’s leadership in steering the SLIS to become the premier information school in Southeast Asia. With Apolinario the first dean appointed under his term as chancellor, Vistan said Apolinario’s deanship will undoubtedly play a crucial role in preparing the SLIS students navigate the complexities of an ever-changing information landscape. “Dean Rhea has demonstrated exceptional qualities throughout her academic and professional journey and I am confident that her vision and dedication will elevate the SLIS to even greater heights. She brings with her a wealth of experience, her brand of leadership, and a vision for the future that aligns with the University’s commitment to academic excellence,” he said. For her part, Apolinario said she has always been guided by her vision and plans for the SLIS as well as the school’s priority areas and flagship programs. Apolinario summarized her threefold vision as “equip, engage, and excel.” She also shared her proposal for the creation of a Diliman Information Governance Office. According to her, the office “would enable effective records management, efficient data management and resource optimization, improve data protection and risk mitigation, digital transformation and enhance collaboration, and shall function as the overarching unit or office that will see the effective and efficient information management.” Apolinario also introduced to the audience the SLIS Executive Board composed of Mark Anthony Santos (college secretary), Iyra Buenrostro-Cabbab, PhD (graduate program coordinator), Jonathan Isip (information officer), Yhna Therese Santos (quality assurance officer), Elijah John Dar Juan (general education coordinator), Dan Anthony Dorado (National Service Training Program coordinator), and Janny Surmieda (alumni coordinator). (From left) Dar-Juan, Y. Santos, Dorado, Surmieda, Isip, Buenrostro-Cabbab, M. Santos, and Apolinario. Photo by Jefferson Villacruz, UPDIO

UP swimmers make waves

November 29, 2023
The UP Varsity Swim Team (UPVST) Women’s Team is champion in the recently concluded swimming tournament of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Season 86. The Lady Maroons last won the crown in Season 79. UPVST Women’s Team poster. Image from The UAAP Facebook page The UPVST Men’s Team, UP Integrated School (UPIS) VST Boys’ Team, and UPISVST Girls’ Team all finished the season as second runner-up. UPVST Men’s Team poster. Image from The UAAP Facebook page The Women’s Team earned 435 points and won 11 golds, eight silvers, and two bronzes. It is UP’s 21st championship in the women’s division. Meanwhile, the Men’s Team garnered 267.50 points and won four golds, one silver, eight bronzes. The Boys’ Team finished with 75 points and won three bronzes, while the Girls’ Team had 210 points and won two golds, three silvers, and eight bronzes.   UPISVST Boys’ Team poster. Image from The UAAP Facebook page UPISVST Girls’ Team poster. Image from The UAAP Facebook page The UPVST also received individual awards. Quendy Fernandez took Rookie of the Year (ROY) and Most Valuable Player for the women’s division and Matthew Alumbres as ROY for the men’s division. (From left) Fernandez and UPD College of Human Kinetics Dean Francis Carlos B. Diaz. Image from The UAAP Facebook page (From left) Alumbres and Diaz. Image from The UAAP Facebook page The UPVST shattered existing records, tallying three new UAAP records. Fernandez’s 29.85 seconds established a new record for the women’s 50-m backstroke. Atasha Dela Torre, Cindy Fernandez, Louise Lacson, and Angela Villamil clocked in 4:10.50 minutes for the women’s 4 x 100-m freestyle relay. At the men’s 4 x 100-m medley relay, Jude Buncio, Franco Dela Rosa, Pepi Mapa, and Keane Ting gave a new record at 3:56.57 minutes. The swimming tournament was held from Nov. 23 to 26 at the Teofilo Yldefonso Swimming Pool at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex in Malate, Manila.


UN now uses UPD researchers’ MVI

October 02, 2023
The World’s Mangroves 2000-2020, the 2023 report of the United Nations (UN) Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), used the Mangrove Vegetation Index (MVI) developed by UP Diliman (UPD) researchers as its mapping methodology. The report is about global and regional estimates of the area covered by mangrove forests, including area changes between 2000 and 2020. The MVI is a new index developed to map mangroves to help preserve coastal ecosystems. This was developed by Alvin Baloloy together with Ariel C. Blanco, DEng, Raymund Rhommel C. Sta. Ana, and Kazuo Nadaoka, researchers from UPD and the Tokyo Institute of Technology, respectively. Baloloy. Photo from Baloloy’s LinkedIn account Baloloy is a remote sensing and geographical information system (RS-GIS) specialist from the Training Center for Applied Geodesy and Photogrammetry (TCAGP) at the Department of Geodetic Engineering (DGE) of the UPD College of Engineering (COE). Blanco is a professor of geodetic engineering at the COE and currently the director of Space Information Infrastructure Bureau of the Philippine Space Agency. Meanwhile, Sta. Ana is an RS-GIS research associate at the TCAGP, and Kazuo Nadaoka is a professor at the Department of Transdisciplinary Science and Engineering at the School of Environment and Society of the Tokyo Institute of Technology. Book cover. Image from FAO website According to the researchers’ study published in the ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (Volume 166, August 2020), the MVI is a new index that “rapidly and accurately maps mangroves extent from remotely-sensed imageries.” It uses green, NIR (Near Infrared), and SWIR1 (shortwave infrared) bands “to discriminate the distinct greenness and moisture of mangroves from terrestrial vegetation and other land cover.” The MVI was also used in generating the mangrove extent map of the Philippines in 2019. The MVI was developed under the BlueCARES project of UPD and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The JICA website post on 6 July 2020 explained that BlueCARES project aims to aid “policymakers develop scientific-based conservation measures to preserve and improve coastal ecosystems.” In his Facebook post, Baloloy credited Blanco for being his mentor, under whose watch MVI was developed. Referring to the MVI, Baloloy said, “Nagamit ng ibang bansa, sana magamit din sa PH.”

Sustainability starts with the individual

November 29, 2023
“Your contribution as an individual is more important,” said Joselin Marcus E. Fragada, as he began his keynote speech at the 2nd Manila Bulletin Sustainability Forum 2023 (Sustainability Forum 2023) with the theme If Not Now, When?: Addressing the Urgency to Go Sustainable at the Malcolm Hall on Nov. 21. Fragada is the undersecretary for field operations of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). He represented DENR Secretary Maria Antonia Yulo Loyzaga at the forum. Fragada. Photo by Jefferson Villacruz, UPDIO “ If Not Now, When? is very timely, because the students—the youth—play a very vital role in the protection of our environment and our natural resources. It always starts from an individual, not just a group who were told to come and do something about it,” Fragada explained further. Fragada’s speech was about DENR’s role in terms of sustainability. Issa Litton, the forum’s moderator, said DENR has always been at the forefront of advocating sustainability programs in the country and was invited at the forum to shed more light on their activities and programs concerning sustainability. According to Fragada, the Philippines has been ranked as among the countries at most risk of climate change and disaster, as it frequently faces hazards like earthquakes, typhoons, and volcanic eruptions. “The DENR is working towards climate resiliency on the local and community levels, especially in climate-vulnerable areas. The DENR is currently pushing for nature-based solutions that are sustainable for both the environment and communities. Additionally, we are tapping the capacities of various stakeholders through the national and municipal levels on programs and projects to sustain gloomy green economies,” he said. Presently, the DENR embarked on a new program called Project Transform. Fragada explained the project was introduced in three areas: Ormoc City, Leyte, Bataan, and Siargao, Surigao. “Project Transform or Transdisciplinary Approach for Resilience in Environmental Sustainability Through Multistakeholder Engagement piloted in Ormoc City. The project engages the whole of society and implemented initiatives to improve community resilience, alleviate poverty, promote public-private partnership, and forge stronger multistakeholder collaborations. It will support the DENR’s resiliency framework by delivering environmental, social, and economic aid for local governments nationwide,” he said. Fragada added that the project is a testament to DENR’s commitment to disaster resiliency and environmental sustainability through partnerships with the local government units (LGUs) and the private sectors. He then encouraged the audience to engage in more collaborative projects as DENR’s successful programs are products of collaboration. “The more effective projects that we have are programs that have been collaborated on by the different agencies, LGUs, and the private sector,” Fragada said. In closing his message, Fragada addressed the students in the audience and encouraged…