MMSU launches coastal eng’g R&D center

By Daniel P. Tapaoan, Jr.


The Coastal Engineering and Management Research and Development Center (CoastER) of Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU) is now starting its operations after its official launching today, November 23. 


Hosted by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) - Region I, the virtual launching of the region’s niche research and development (R&D) center coincided with this year’s National Science and Technology Week (NSTW) celebration. 


Located in Batac, Ilocos Norte, CoastER will spearhead the development of technologies and innovations to mitigate and manage coastal disasters and risks in the Philippines.


Dr. Nathaniel Alibuyog, program leader, said the establishment of CoastER in Ilocos region is strategic and important because it has the longest coastline which may be exposed to storm surges and tsunamis. 


Alibuyog said the CoastER will specifically develop science-based technologies and innovations; capacitate the human resource capital of higher education institutions in Ilocos region toward coastal engineering research and management; and, formulate policies that will enhance the resiliency of coastal communities.  


Complementing these interventions, he said the center will implement four projects: coastal erosion trends and management strategies; assessment, monitoring, and prediction of coastal flooding; development of science-based engineering approach to coastal protection; and enhancing coastal design and infrastructure intervention through the establishment of wave testing laboratory.


He added the CoastER will also lead to the creation and offering of Master of Science of Coastal Engineering at MMSU in the future. 


Partners of MMSU in this program are the University of the Philippines - Marine Science Institute (UP-MSI) in Diliman, Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University (DMMMSU) in La Union, Urdaneta City University (UCU) in Pangasinan, and the University of Northern Philippines (UNP) in Ilocos Sur.


MMSU President Shirley C. Agrupis said the University is privileged to host the newest niche center, and she assured the CoastER will maximize its resources to protect the coastal areas and build resilient coastal communities. 


“Having a Niche Center in the Region or NICER is a feat that we can be proud of,” expressed DOST Regional Director Armando Ganal. “We commit to cooperate to the extent that we can for the realization of the center.”  


Science and Technology Secretary Fortunato Dela Peña encouraged the CoastER operators to “take advantage of this great initiative to promote development in this part of the region.”


Heads of various agencies, as well as provincial and local governments in Region I expressed support to CoastER.  


The DOST-Philippine Council for Industry, Energy, and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD) funded the center through its Science for Change Program (S4CP) – Niche Center in the Regions (NICER) program. (StratCom)