Retrospect. Deliver. Realize: ADZU hosts the Phil-LiDAR 1 Mindanao Cluster Colloquium

The Ateneo de Zamboanga University (ADZU) LiDAR Program, headed by Mr. Mario Rodriguez, hosted the Phil-LiDAR 1 Mindanao Cluster Colloquium and Map Turnover Ceremony with the theme "Retrospect. Deliver. Realize" last February 16-17, 2017 in Zamboanga City. Around 300 participants from the academe, local government units, national government agencies, and non-government organizations from all over the country attended the event.

DAY 1 of the event, held at the Madrid Grand Ballroom of Palacio del Sur, was opened by no more than ADZU President Father Karel S. San Juan, SJ. The welcome message of Zamboanga City Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco-Salazar was delivered by Zamboanga City Planning Officer Rodrigo Sicat. Former DOST IX Regional Director and now DOST Undersecretary for Regional Operations Brenda L. Nazareth-Manzano introduced the event's guest of honor, DOST Secretary Fortunato T. Dela Peña.

In his keynote speech, Secretary Dela Peña updated everyone on the thrusts of the Philippine Government for the year 2017 and beyond. He said that DOST proposals were the first to be approved in a series of budget hearings. As Filipino scientists now have a broader grasp of LiDAR technology and its applications, the Phil-LiDAR program collaborating with the recently approved Philippine Space Program might be a possibility in the future.

The morning session of DAY 1 was dedicated to a talk on the utilization of LiDAR products by Dr. Enrico Paringit and perspectives on flooding conditions and water-related concerns and issues of Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao as presented respectively by Dr. Chelo Pascua, Dr. Roland Otadoy, and Engr. Meriam Santillan. An open forum followed thereafter.

At around 12 noon, while the participants gathered at the buffet tables for lunch, Dr. Mario Rodriguez led the speakers to a press conference-luncheon attended by journalists from the Presidential Communications Operations Office, the Daily Zamboanga Times and CNN Philippines, eMedia-Zamboanga City, Brigada News FM-Zamboanga, GMA 7, and ABS-CBN.

The afternoon session of DAY 1 was opened by a premiere of ADZU LiDAR's infomercial in Chavacano. Following the premiere are presentations on Flood Hazard Maps and Automated Water Level Forecasting System by Mr. Christopher Uichanco and LiPAD (LiDAR Portal for Archiving and Distribution) by Engr. Ruby Magturo.

DOST Secretary Dela Peña delivered his parting message and approached and shook hands with all the LGU representatives and other stakeholders in the Madrid Grand Ballroom as a farewell.

Most anticipated in DAY 1 is the turnover of Flood Hazard Maps to the LGUs. ADZU LiDAR covers 18 River Basins of the Zamboanga Peninsula: Tumaga, Culianan, Vitali, Limpapa, Tigbao, San Jose-Gusu, Manicahan, Siocon, Quipit, Labason, Patawag, Salug, Palandoc, Buluan, Sanito, Tupilac, Kabasalan, and Maligaya. Following the turnover were responses from LGU representatives from Zamboanga Sibugay, Zamboanga del Norte, and Zamboanga City.

In closing, Mr. Mario Rodriguez thanked everyone who participated in the event, especially the LGUs. In retrospect, the Zamboanga flood hazard maps were the culmination of years of "buwis-buhay" hard work. ADZU LiDAR has successfully delivered. The DREAM for Zamboanga has been realized.