The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) conducted a monitoring visit at the University to determine the current performance of the Discovery Applied Research and Extension for Trans-Interdisciplinary Opportunities (DARE-TO) project entitled “Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment for Local Utilization and Empowerment of Resilient Communities in Negros Occidental,” or “VALUE NEGROS”, at the University President Hall, July 29.
The focus of the visit was to assess the current progress of the project in terms of deliverables, fund utilization, and other concerns that the research group had encountered.
The research team presented the progress report, explaining various features of the project, especially in terms of the multi-disciplinary nature of the research.
“The challenge that VALUE NEGROS brings us the mobilization of the team and the carrying out of the deliverables. But, I strongly believe that with continued support from our respective HEIs and the commitment of our researchers, we can carry out with the noble task of helping communities through our own humble way,” Dr. Mona Freda Secondes, ChE, project manager, said.
The monitoring team also presented guidelines in terms of budget utilization and about the project in general.
After the presentation of the progress of the project, suggestions were made by the technical, administrative, and financial experts of the team. These suggestions were oriented toward the implementation stage of the project and some clarifications were done regarding budget allocation.
VALUE NEGROS is a two-year project supported by the DARE TO grant under the K-12 Transition Program of CHED. It focuses on mitigating climate change by addressing three critical areas of vulnerability: exposure, sensitivity, and adaptive capacity through disciplines of Physical Environment, Socioeconomic, and Human Health. It is split into two phases: research and extension, with the first phase in the first year involving rigorous academic research on assessing climate change vulnerability, and the second phase in the second year involving intervention planning through various programs designed to the specific communities.
The initial target communities of the project involve Brgy. Cadiz Viejo, Cadiz City; Brgy. Lopez Jaena, Murcia; coastal communities of Brgy. Tangub, Bacolod; Brgy. 40, Bacolod City; and RESOURCE, Handumanan. These communities were selected because of their potential risk to climate change.
The research team is led by Dr. Mona Freda Secondes, ChE, with area leaders Engr. Ashraf Khater, ChE, for physical environment, Dr. Carmen Menes for socioeconomic, and team members Dr. Ismael Haguisan III as socioeconomic team member, Dr. Therese Jennifer Mendoza and Josephine Lumagbas, RN as human health team members. VALUE NEGROS is a joint endeavor between the University and La Consolacion College Bacolod as partner Higher Education Institution. The monitoring team comprised of CHED central office members Edmerson Calungsod, Mayumi Belandres, Meynardo Balo, and Jamie Joyce Sese. The CHED Region VI office members were also present in the persons of Maria Karen Catalina Zaldivar, Kimberly Aliman, Ruth Adorable, and Ma. Rosevelle T. Cainglet. Dr. Roel Alli was the technical expert who provided feedback on the project’s potential improvement.