Posted in Personal, Research

System Dynamics Modelling and Urban Environmental Systems

This is the presentation I used for my teaching demonstration for a faculty position at the Ateneo de Manila University.  System dynamics modelling is a powerful tool that must be optimized by researchers, especially those from developing countries, because it does not require extensive data gathering. A free software for learning system dynamics modelling is Vensim.

Posted in Research

Cities of the Philippines and Waste Management: San Pablo City

Inspired by the exercise I conducted on the waste generation status of Philippine cities (see: here), I present a series of information summaries about significant cities.

Using a formulated data gathering template for online-only search, waste management information in the City of San Pablo is compiled.

Access the information sheet through this link: https://goo.gl/Jj3ahT

Recommendations

With the information gathered, the following recommendations are forwarded for San Pablo City waste management research.

  • The City has no official website; a website is important for transparency and data gathering. Contact persons and basic city profiles are beneficial to the public, particularly for researchers.
  • The lessons learned in the construction and operation of the City Sanitary Landfill must be shared with other local government units.

Do you have additional information I missed? Leave a comment!

Posted in Research

Cities of the Philippines and Waste Management: Dasmariñas City

Inspired by the exercise I conducted on the waste generation status of Philippine cities (see: here), I present a series of information summaries about significant cities.

Using a formulated data gathering template for online-only search, waste management information in the City of Dasmariñas is compiled.

Access the information sheet through this link: https://goo.gl/NvoEU0

Recommendations

With the information gathered, the following recommendations are forwarded for Dasmariñas City waste management research.

  • The City has no official website; a website is important for transparency and data gathering. Contact persons and basic city profiles are beneficial to the public, particularly for researchers.
  • Being a premier university towards ecological studies, De La Salle University-Dasmariñas must enjoin the local government and other institutions in its programs, including waste management.
  • Information on NSWMC dashboard and Province of Cavite Profile are not synchronized. It is important that communication is open for updating information, especially for facilities mandated by the law, e.g., closure of open dumpsites.

Do you have additional information I missed? Leave a comment!

Posted in Research

Cities of the Philippines and Waste Management: Antipolo City

Inspired by the exercise I conducted on the waste generation status of Philippine cities (see: here), I present a series of information summaries about significant cities.

Using a formulated data gathering template for online-only search, waste management information in the City of Antipolo is compiled.

Access the information sheet through this link: https://goo.gl/Ol5WxT

Recommendations

With the information gathered, the following recommendations are forwarded for Antipolo City waste management research.

  • Continue publication of success stories about the launching of MRFs to inspire other local governments.
  • Encourage local scholars to conduct research on waste management, particularly regarding the annual waste issue of Lenten trash.
  • Publish waste generation and waste composition data on City website for public knowledge.

Do you have additional information I missed? Leave a comment!

Posted in Personal, Research

Research: An Overview of Secondary Cities

This is the presentation I used for my teaching demonstration for a faculty position at the University of the Philippines. As a former staff of the USAID-SURGE Project, I cannot deny the importance of secondary cities in the current urban world. A significant comment of the panel was that the presentation uses “development language” heavily.

The presentation derives from the presentation of Mr. John Avila during the Philippine Institute of Environmental Planners Conference.

Posted in Research

Research: Cities of the Philippines and Waste Generation

See a simple exercise using waste generation and population data in my new paper entitled “Cities of the Philippines and Waste Generation.” Access it through this link: https://goo.gl/etMkvY

Brief Overview

Waste generation is the starting point for any waste management analysis. In this exercise, available population data and waste generation data for 2015 are used to provide a general outlook of Philippine cities according to waste generation and per capita waste generation.

Highlights

  • Antipolo City (Rizal) is the only component city in the Ten Most Populous Cities of 2015. In 2011, Antipolo was declared a “highly urbanized city” by Pres. Aquino, the ratification of which requires a plebiscite.
  • Antipolo City (Rizal) and Dasmarinas City (Cavite) are the only component cities in the Ten Cities with the Highest Projected Volume of Waste Generation list, ranked 8th and 9th
    • Antipolo City is 26 km from Manila and boosts real estate developments.
    • Dasmarinas City is an industrial city, hosting three industrial estates and around 300 operational industries.
  • Six of the Ten Cities with Highest Projected Per Capita Waste Generation in 2015 are component cities.
    • Cavite City (Cavite) is the top city in terms of per capita waste generation, with 0.3075 tons generated per person in 2015. It is only 113th in population ranking and 94th in projected volume of waste generation. Cavite City is a 4th income class city and is envisioned to be part of alternative sea and air transport projects to decongest the urban core of Metro Manila.
    • Bislig City (Surigao del Sur) is ranked 9th in terms of per capita waste generation, with 0.2760 tons generated per person in 2015. It is only 120th in population ranking and 111th in projected volume of waste generation. Bislig City is a 3rd income class city that is promoted as an eco-tourist center.
  • Manila, the capital city of the Philippines, is 2nd most populous. It is also the 3rd in terms of projected volume of waste generation; however, it is ranked 133rd in projected per capita waste generation with 0.2148 tons generated per person.

Conclusion

The exercise provides a perspective towards waste generation and population in Philippine cities: ranking of cities according to per capita waste generation is a significant research area. Unexpectedly, Manila ranked low in per capita waste generation, even being in the top of corresponding lists for population and waste generation. Component cities dominated the top ten of per capita waste generation. The exercise offers an overview of further research towards urban solid waste management in the Philippines, which may include geographical analysis of waste generation in cities. The exercise also shows the benefit of open data: with more data accessible to the public through the government agencies, rapid assessments through deskwork can be performed.

 

Posted in Research

What if Environmental Scientists had as Much Influence as Economists?

An article written by Neil Irwin on the New York Times explored the differences that might happen if sociologists had as much influence as economists. I try to write a brief perspective on the changes that may happen if environmental scientists had as much influence as economists.

The importance of environmental science

Living in a disaster-prone country and natural resource haven, Filipino environmental scientists must participate in generating economic outcomes that are ecologically beneficial for present and succeeding generations. Resolving issues on unemployment, poverty, and miseducation reach beyond economics. As economists may view job security and poverty level on monetary and incentive terms, environmental scientists reveal how insufficient income and job insecurity pushes people towards illegal small-scale activities like poaching endangered species and logging in restricted zones. Educational attainment is also recognized as a predictor of environmental knowledge.

An environmental scientist perspective

If environmental scientists were largely influential,

  1. City planning would consist of strong scientific background. Population growth and city progress is more than quantity and monetary: it is spatially-distributed.
  2. Mining perspectives can be supported or rejected through cost-benefit analyses. The livelihood of the present generation and resources of future ones will not be evaluated according to personal and visual preferences.
  3. Political will can be exercised towards the phase-out of old jeepneys because of GHG emission estimates. Filipino heritage must take a backseat to public health: communal responsibility is necessary.
  4. Research and development towards disaster resiliency and preparedness will be accompanied by the availability of open data for spatial analysis will be promoted heavily.

Conclusion

A shift towards environmental science has already happened in the Philippines in the face of various disasters: weather forecasts provide deeper details; disaster drills are periodically conducted; and topics like the Paris Agreement are discussed in regular round tables. There is greater improvement ahead. Legislative action must be performed not only for improving income levels and purchasing power but also with climate change adaptation and mitigation as primary consideration.

What changes will the country undergo if your profession is at the forefront?