THE Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has launched two major research projects for the protection and preservation of the mountains in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), and to provide water security and climate resilience to the indigenous communities in the region.
The first research program, “Program Boondock: A Mountain Engineering Center Towards Sustainable Infrastructure and Upland Water Security” is a collaborative effort of the DOST-CAR with the University of the Cordilleras (UC), Kalinga State University (KSU), Saint Louis University (SLU) and the Watershed and Water Resources Research, Development and Extension Center (WWRRDEC) under the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
DOST Secretary Fortunato “Boy” T. de la Peña said that the project is intended to establish a Mountain Engineering Center “to enhance the industrial competitiveness of the Cordillera region in the field of agriculture, tourism and mobility through mountain engineering solutions and promote social and human development through upland water security, and environmental sustainability.”
Program Boondock is funded by the Science for Change Program (S4CP) Niche Centers in the Regions for R&D (NICER).
Meanwhile, the second project is intended to ensure water security and climate resilience for indigenous communities in CAR through the provision of technology-based support tools.
The second project is funded by the DOST’s National Research Council of the Philippines’s (NRCP) Grants-in-Aid ` (GIA) program and is a collaboration of the DOST-CAR with the Mountain Province State Polytechnic College (MPSPC) and University of the Cordilleras (UC).
It is intended to ensure sufficient clean and safe water supply in the region, even during the dry seasons.
The program is expected to provide vital information that can shape proper decisions for water resource development and the conservation of the region’s watersheds and waterways.
Both projects involve local governments throughout the region, including the provincial government units of Apayao, Benguet, Ifugao, Kalinga, Mountain Province, as well as various municipal governments and Baguio in the region.