05212024.Web.Banner Xavier Ateneo News

According to the 2023 World Risk Index Report, the Philippines is the most at-risk country in the world. In particular, typhoons, floods, and earthquakes continue to hit the country causing destructive impacts to infrastructures. Meanwhile, Philippine engineers and scientists work tirelessly to advocate, adapt, and advance the resilience of infrastructures in the country.

To showcase these innovations and practices, the Social Development Office of Xavier University - Ateneo de Cagayan (XU) in the Philippines, in collaboration with the UNESCO Chair in Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilience Engineering (DRR-RE) based at the University College London (UCL) in the United Kingdom, jointly hosted a webinar in 11 April 2024, called: Infrastructure Resilience Initiatives: The Philippine Experience.

The webinar featured frameworks, projects, and experiences in promoting and implementing resilient infrastructures in the country. Dr Oreta, a Fellow of the Association of Structural Engineers of the Philippines (ASEP), shared the DMPR Training Program, which is being rolled out to engineers nationwide. Dr Garciano, also an ASEP Fellow, shared valuable lessons learned from ASEP’s actual post-earthquake case studies and field reports. Engr Cunanan’s talk outlined the Philippine Government’s efforts in making public buildings in Metro Manila resilient to the “big one” – an earthquake scenario that could potentially hit the metropolis.

Dr Vatteri, a Research Fellow at UCL who works with a team in XU, presented their ongoing project on the assessment of school buildings in Cagayan de Oro City, against earthquakes and floods. Their work also features the systems interaction of transport infrastructures and buildings in the aftermath of a disaster. Dr Mendoza’s talk featured his innovative project for the structural evaluation and intervention of the Bantay Church in Ilocos. The church was established in the 1590s, and was heavily damaged during World War II. It was rebuilt in the 1950s.

Three reactors, Dr Byun of the University of Glasgow, Dr Velasquez of the Green Climate Fund, and Dr Porio of the Ateneo de Manila University, then shared their views and appreciations of the topics presented. They also presented pathways for further collaborations to improve the technologies and strategies in ensuring resilient infrastructures.

A special presentation was also delivered by Dr Smars about his field reconnaissance of the recent Hualien Earthquake in Taiwan. 

During the webinar, the Q&A box was full and active of exchanges between the participants and resource persons. The webinar got a high evaluation rating of 4.6 (out of 5), with over 800 registrants from around the world. 

The UNESCO Chair in DRR-RE is headed by Prof D’Ayala of the University College London. Xavier Ateneo is a partner of the UNESCO Chair in DRR-RE since its conception. Engr Lo has previously collaborated with Prof D’Ayala in the Philippines Resilience of Schools to Multi-Hazard (PRSIMH) Project, jointly funded by the British Council and the Commission on Higher Education of the Philippine Government.

The webinar is part of the UNESCO Chair in DRR-RE webinar series. The video recording can be viewed in YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DuNPJ1xMdNQ.

04202024.Web SocDev 1
(L-R) Top Row: Prof D’ayala (UCL), Dr Oreta (DLSU), Dr Garciano (DLSU), Engr Cunanan (PICE);
Middle Row: Engr Lo (XU), Dr Vatteri (UCL), Dr Mendoza (PJI), Dr Fernandez (UCL);
Bottom Row: Dr Byun (UoG), Dr Velasquez (GCF), Dr Porio (ADMU), Dr Smars (NYUST)