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PANEL MEMBERS. From left to right: Panel moderator Dr Cresencio M Montalbo Jr, UC-1 Corporation chief executive officer and president Engr Elpidio Paras, Misamis Oriental PDRRM acting officer Dr Josefino Bascug, Department of Transportation Asec Eymard Eje, CDO-DRRM overseer Col Mario Verner Monsanto, and XU - Institutional Societal Engagements director Engr Dexter Lo. Supplied photo. 

By Therese Rhea Rose Baliwag

Xavier University - Ateneo de Cagayan, through the Social Development – Institutional Societal Engagements (SD-ISE) and the XU – Engineering Resource Center (XU-ERC), co-hosted the 25th National Conference of the Transportation Science Society of the Philippines (TSSP) on July 27 at the Southeast Asian Rural Social Leadership Institute (SEARSOLIN).

Transport experts and guests from national agencies, local government, the private sector, and the academe exchanged insights on the country’s current transport system and on how to improve it.

This year’s theme for the gathering was “Enhancing Disaster Preparedness and Resilience through Transportation Engineering and Planning.”

Professor Atsushi Fukuda from Nihon University in Japan shared his insights, as the keynote lecturer, on the research needs in preparation for national disasters in the transport sector, specifically on the experience of the Great East Japan earthquake.

A panel discussion then followed with a more substantive exchange of knowledge among transport practitioners and disaster experts. The panel speakers included Department of Transportation Asec Eymard Eje, XU - Institutional Societal Engagements director Engr Dexter Lo, UC-1 Corporation chief executive officer and president Engr Elpidio Paras, CDO-DRRM overseer Ret Col Mario Verner Monsanto, and Misamis Oriental Provincial DRRM acting officer Dr Josefino Bascug.


DISCUSSIONS ON SOLUTIONS. Transport experts and guests from national agencies, local government, the private sector, and the academe exchanged insights on the country’s current transport system and on how to improve it. Supplied photo. 

During the technical sessions, researchers from different schools and universities presented their studies on public transportation, human vehicle and traffic flow characteristics, and mode and route choice analysis.

“As an academic institution, Xavier Ateneo takes an active part in disaster preparedness and resiliency,” Lo said during the conference. “Firstly, through teaching, DRRM courses are diffused in the engineering curriculum and the K-12 level program to enable students in disaster preparedness. Secondly, we research on climate impacts which are local in setting. Lastly, through social development, we work with local DRRM units in training them in GIS-related competencies related to disaster science.”

A pre-conference activity was also held on July 26 where over 50 undergraduate and graduate students doing research in transportation gathered for a workshop for young researchers. For the first time in TSSP history, this workshop provided an avenue for appreciation of career opportunities and challenges in the transportation sector, practical guidance on conducting researches, and collaborations and linkages among research students and academic institutions.

“We are witnesses to an ongoing duality on challenges and opportunities in transportation planning,” said TSSP president Dr Alexis Fillone, who is also a professor at De La Salle University. “Hopefully, our profession that is rooted in engineering will bring added sense to current efforts to establish enduring solutions in the field of transportation.”∎


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