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BCARRD Coordination Council Session

Bicol Region's Research Entities Convene at ParSU for BCARRD’s Coordination Council Session

The various Consortium Member Institutions (CMIs) of the Bicol Consortium for Agricultural Resources Research and Development (BCARRD) recently held the 1st Regional Research and Development Coordinating Council (RDCC) Meeting for 2024 on May 28, 2024. The meeting took place at the Partido State University Boardroom.

The meeting was presided by the newly elected Consortium Director, Dr. Lester M. Narvaez. One of the highlights of the agenda was the presentation of BCAARRD’s accomplishment report and targets which showcased the consortium's effectiveness and the value it delivers for further collaboration and innovation. Also part of the agenda was the conduct of a Regional Symposium on R&D Highlights.

Moreover, the RRDCC meeting focused on optimizing and steering the BCARRD consortium towards its strategic goals for regional development. This included several key agenda items: Presentation and inclusion of the CMIs' approved R&D projects with National Integrated Strategic Plan (ISP) funding from DOST/PCAARRD in the RRDCC meeting discussions; Updating the Database of the Pool of Experts affiliated with the consortium member institutions; Submission of institutional reports for inclusion in the annual report of BCARRD; Establishing a regular schedule for monitoring and evaluation of the consortium's activities and initiatives; Digitization of the consortium's information, education, and communication (IEC) collaterals and resources; Designation of cluster representatives to align with BCARRD's key program areas, including research and development, ICT, technology transfer, and science communication.

Towards the end of the meeting, representatives from the University of the Philippines presented the UPLB Center for Strategic Planning and Policy Studies (CPAD), potentially exploring opportunities for synergy and collaboration.The meeting underscored the consortium's commitment to optimizing its operations, streamlining coordination, and aligning its activities to achieve the strategic goals for agricultural research and development in the Bicol region.

Attendees during the meeting included Presidents of State Universities and Colleges in the Bicol Region, Directors, Research Focals, and Information Officers of the following government and private institutions/organizations in the Bicol Region:

  • Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic, and Natural Resources Research Development (PCAARRD)
  • Ateneo De Naga University (ADNU)
  • Bicol State College of Applied Sciences and Technology (BISCAST)
  • Camarines Norte State College (CNSC)
  • Catanduanes State University (CATSU)
  • Department of Agriculture-Regional Field Office (DA-RFO) V
  • Department of Science and Technology (DOST) V
  • Dr. Emilio B. Espinosa Sr. Memorial State College of Agriculture and Technology (DEBEMSSCAT)
  • Partido State University
  • Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) V
  • Bicol University (BU)
  • Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR)
  • Camarines Sur Polytechnic College (CSPC)
  • Central Bicol State University of Agriculture (CBSUA)
  • Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Agricultural Research (DA-BAR)
  • Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) V
  • National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) V
  • Philippine Coconut Authority-Albay Research Center (PCA ARC)
  • Provincial Government of Albay
  • Sorsogon State College (SorSU)
  • Philippine Fiber Industry Development Authority (PhilFIDA)
  • Philippine Rice Research Institiute (PhilRICE)
  • University of Santo Tomas (UST-Legazpi)

The BCARRD is a collaborative initiative that brings together different institutions in the Bicol Region to coordinate and align their agricultural research and development efforts. The 1st RDCC Meeting provided a platform for these member institutions to convene and discuss their research agendas, share progress, and coordinate their activities for the benefit of the regional agricultural sector.

By fostering this coordination, the BCARRD aims to maximize the impact of agricultural research and development in the Bicol Region, addressing the unique challenges and needs of the local farming communities. The convening of this 1st RDCC Meeting demonstrates the commitment of the various CMIs to work together towards the common goal of supporting and advancing the agricultural development of the Bicol Region through coordinated research and development initiatives.

Partido State University Empowers Faculty Researchers with Advanced Training for Sustainable Fisheries Management

With a  goal to empower faculty researchers in sustainable fisheries management, the Partido State University's Research, Extension, and Knowledge Management division sponsored the conduct of the advanced training course “Tropical Fish Stock Assessment Concepts and Tools: Building Capacity for Research and Governance of Small-scale fisheries in Camarines Sur, Philippines” held last April 23-26 at the Partido State University Caramoan Campus. The training was attended by select faculty-researchers from the university immersed in fisheries-related researches.

Engaging with Real-World Challenges

The participants delved into the complex landscape of small-scale capture fisheries as the speaker, Dr. Asuncion B. De Guzman, a renowned fisheries scientist from the Mindanao State University Naawan Foundation for Science and Technology Development, Inc. (MSUNFSTDI) discussed the state of Philippine small-scale fisheries and the intricate balance between exploitation and conservation. Her discussions revealed that beyond the science, effective fisheries management requires an understanding of socio-economic factors and the resilience of fishery systems to climate change.

To bring theory into practice, the participants were trained in methodologies to measure fish lengths and calculate weight relationships. Simulations like the "Tragedy of the Commons" fishing game was conducted to highlight the delicate equilibrium necessary in managing common resources. The participants later on concluded that overfishing and resource depletion are not just theoretical threats but real challenges that require cooperative solutions.

Advanced Techniques and Practical Applications

Aside from the discussions and interactive activities, the participants were also exposed to advanced fish stock assessment tools. Using the FiSAT II software, the participants estimated growth, mortality, and recruitment patterns in simulated fishing areas in the country using real-world data.

“These technical skills are crucial for developing accurate stock assessments and implementing effective management strategies.” said Mr. Michael P. Vale, the university Gender and Development Focal Person and one of the participants to the event.

Connecting Research to Governance

Dr. Raul G. Bradecina, the former university president and university professor of ParSU also led sessions on species identification and the biodiversity status of commercial fish stocks, connecting scientific research with practical governance needs. This has allowed the participants to develop fish stock assessment project frameworks, which they presented and critiqued collaboratively.

“This exercise demonstrated the critical link between research and governance, showing that data-driven policies are essential for effective fisheries management.” said Ms. Kimberly M. Aserado, one of the participants to the event.

Insights for the Future

With the fish stock assessment framework developed and plans for future fish stock assessment researches to be conducted as presented during the culmination, it is expected that future researches on governance of small-scale fisheries in the province of Camarines Sur spearheaded by the participants is underway.

“The training emphasized that sustainable fisheries management is not just a scientific endeavor but a collaborative effort that requires the engagement of local communities, policymakers, and researchers. The collective commitment shown during the course reflects a broader movement towards sustainable development and the protection of vital marine ecosystems.” said Prof. Patricia M. Candelaria, the Vice President for Research, Extension and Knowledge Management.

“The insights gained in the training extend beyond the classroom and into the broader context of environmental stewardship and sustainable development. By equipping local researchers and managers with the tools and knowledge necessary for effective fish stock assessment, Partido State University has laid the groundwork for a more sustainable future for small-scale fisheries in Camarines Sur” she added.

Aside from Dr. De Guzman and Dr. Bradecina, the other experts from the university who are discussants in the event are Mr. Raul B. Burce and Mr. Ronnel A. Dioneda. They have discussed climate change effects and vulnerability and reproductive biology of tropical fishes respectively.

The activity was also attended by university officials including the university President, Dr. Arnel B. Zarcedo, the university Vice President for Administration and Finance, Prof. Charlie V. Balagtas and the university Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Michael A. Clores.


Bicol River Basin Studies

As a product of the over two years’ worth of work by the team of Dr. Ricky Laureta, the video recapitulates the major accomplishments of the research project titled "Development of Comprehensive Early Warning System for Agri-Fishery Communities in the Bicol River Basin" implemented by Partido State University in partnership with the Department of Agriculture Regional Field Office 5 and in collaboration with DOST-PAGASA and the Local Government Units of Baao, Canaman, and Minalabac.

The project was formally launched in October 2018 and implemented until March 2021. It covered three municipalities in Camarines Sur (Baao, Canaman, and Minalabac), covering two pilot barangays in each municipality. This report presents shared stakeholders' experience in climate and disaster-resilient development and contends that such development is essential to eliminating extreme poverty and achieving shared climate consciousness. As viewers and readers look into their own experiences, the team hopes that they will inspire them to take measures on becoming a climate advocate and a voice to our marginalized communities. To know more about the project, readers can read the team’s full report here: Bicol River Basin Project Terminal Report.

Concept and Screenplay by RRH Regalado
Cinematography and Voice-Over by L Bañez
Directed by RP Laureta and DEB Baldo

ParSU Researchers’ Scientific work in Bicol River Basin receives literary merit at the historical National Book Awards

MANILA — The National Book Development Board (NBDB) and the Manila Critics Circle (MCC) awarded a special citation to the monograph titled “The Bicol River Basin Project: Development of Comprehensive Early Warning System for Agri-Fishery Communities” during the prestigious 40th National Book Awards (NBA) held at the historic Manila Metropolitan Theater on May 13, 2023.

The National Book Awards is an annual prize organized by the NBDB and MCC that recognizes excellence in book publishing in the Philippines and celebrates the people behind it. This year's 40th cycle received 213 title nominations across 29 categories, covering three languages: English, Filipino, and Ilocano. The categories are grouped into Literary, Non-Literary, and Design, honoring not only authors but also cover designers, layout artists as well as publishers.

Among the outstanding finalists in the Science category, "The Bicol River Project" stood out as the only book to receive a special citation. The NBA is primarily a literary award, making it all the more remarkable for a book with mainly scientific content to receive recognition.

Despite falling short in clinching the coveted Best Book in Science Prize, the book authored by Laureta, Regalado, and Baldo was awarded special citation "…to recognize the scope of its contribution to Science”. The book's "…participative and inclusive approach to sustainability and resiliency...", was acknowledged by the awarding body.

The awarding ceremony, the first to be held onsite after the pandemic, was graced by prominent figures from the literary and publishing industry most notably by Palanca Hall of Famer, Dr. Isagani Cruz. Laureta and Regalado were present at the event to receive the special citation for their work.

Briefly, the book presents a shared stakeholder experience in climate and disaster-resilient development, emphasizing the importance of local agricultural resiliency. Its insights into the region's natural resources and unique challenges can guide policymakers and development practitioners in designing sustainable solutions that can lift the region out of poverty and enhance its resilience to natural disasters.

Last year, it can be remembered that this same book title was also awarded the prestigious Outstanding Book/Monograph (OBM) Award by the National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST). Its recognition by the NBA and the NAST is a testament to its contribution to the field and provides valuable insights into understanding and developing the region and the country as a whole.

The book was published by Partido State University Press in 2021.

ParSU Researchers reap prestigious NAST Award at the Academy’s 44th Annual Scientific Meeting

Research report “The Bicol River Basin Project: Development of Comprehensive Early Warning System for Agri-Fishery Communities” authored by Ricky P. Laureta, Diomerl Edward B. Baldo and Ric Ryan H. Regalado was recognized as this year’s Outstanding Book/Monograph (OBM) given by the National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST). The OBM Awards, according to NAST, are given annually for books and/or monographs published by Filipino publishers based in the Philippines within five years preceding the award with majority of the authors of publication being Filipinos. The awardees received a plaque of recognition and a cash prize of Twenty-Five Thousand Pesos (Php 25,000.00) given during NAST’s 44th Annual Scientific Meeting held last July 13 and 14, 2022 at The Manila Hotel.

The book was published by Partido State University with ISBN 978-971-9911-69-2. It comprehensively traces primarily on developing comprehensive early warning mechanisms to support marginalized agri-fishery communities coping against decreasing agricultural productivity brought about by the changes in the climate.

Dr. Laureta, the team’s project leader extended his gratitude to Department of Agriculture Regional Field Office V, for entrusting the team with 4.4-Million worth of research grant, with its objective to substantiate shared stakeholders' experience in climate and disaster-resilient development.

“We fervently hope that the findings of this work will reach the desk of our political leaders and be regarded as a guiding compass in the drafting and implementation of projects for our hardworking farmers in the noble aim of ameliorating regional poverty and achieving shared climate consciousness. We believe that policies should be anchored from findings of scientific research.” Laureta added in an interview.   

This plausible achievement marks an important history and milestone as the University’s first recognition from the esteemed award-giving body in many years. The authors highlighted that they share this pride with the entire ParSU community.   

NAST is the country’s highest recognition and scientific advisory body under the helm of the Department of Science and Technology. The entries for the said award were judged based on the merits of quality and originality of the content, contribution to science and technology, clarity of presentation, and thoroughness of the documentation. (Eunice SB. Malate- PasSU Caramoan)

Presentation of the plaque and certificates to awardees during the NAST’s 44th Annual Scientific Meeting held last July 13 and 14, 2022 at The Manila Hotel.

(From left: NAST Vice President Acd. Fabian M. Dayrit, Mr. Ric Ryan H. Regalado, NAST President Acd. Rhodora V. Azanza, Dr. Ricky P. Laureta, VP for Administration and Finance Dr. Arnel B. Zarcedo, and Acd. Jaime C. Montoya, Secretary and Chair of the Health Sciences Division of NAST and PCHRD Executive Director) Photo courtesy of Henry De Leon of DOST-STII.


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