Three years after its establishment by the UP Board of Regents (BOR), the Resilience Institute at the University of the Philippines for Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (UP Resilience Institute or UPRI) has finally broken ground for the construction of its own building on September 25.
Replacing Villadolid Hall along Lakandula St. in UP Diliman, the P400-million structure is expected to be finished by 2021. It will be the tallest building on campus at ten stories.
It will bring under one roof UPRI’s core component, the Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards (NOAH) Center, and the Institute’s other programs: Research and Creative Work, Knowledge Sharing, Education, and Institution Building—all of which are currently scattered across locations within and outside UP Diliman. The UPRI building will also house the Archaeological Studies Program.
The NOAH Center was formerly Project NOAH of the Department of Science and Technology. It was adopted by the University and re-established as the NOAH Center in March 2017 through EO PDLC 17-03 issued by UP President Danilo Concepcion, when the project’s operations were concluded the previous month. In June 2017, UPRI was re-launched with the NOAH Center as its core program.
The UP BOR approved the Institute’s functions and programs as follows:
- Research and Creative Work: undertake policy research, action research, and interdisciplinary or transdisciplinary research or creative work aimed at producing and applying new knowledge, knowledge solution, or knowhow on reducing and managing natural disaster-risks in the Philippines and the Pacific Rim region with utmost consideration of local cultural and social factors;
- Knowledge Sharing: disseminate research findings, creative works and innovations in academic forums, professional conferences, communities of practice, and industrial conventions, to regional, national and local public authorities who are mandated to improve the resilience to natural hazards, to the private sector, to the mass media and social media, and to the general public;
- Education: establish non-degree educational programs and support degree programs within the UP System as a comprehensive network center and hub for the interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary theme of disaster risk reduction and management or disaster risk management, including intercultural understanding across the nation and the region; and
- Institution Building: improve the capability of the UP System as an agent of change to formulate and implement advanced academic programs or courses and undertake leading researches or creative works on disaster resilience in the Philippines and the Pacific Rim region, and undertake appropriate training events in support of disaster risk reduction and management initiatives and institutions of the university, local, national, and regional stakeholders.
The groundbreaking ceremony was attended by government officials such as Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Mark Villar, Commission on Higher Education Chairman J. Prospero de Vera III, Albay Second District Representative and House Committee on Ways and Means Chairman Jose Maria Salceda, Commissioner Noel Antonio Gaerlan of the Climate Change Commission, and Office of Civil Defense Undersecretary Ricardo Jalad, among others. DPWH, through the Quezon City Second District Engineering Office, is implementing the construction project.