The Isabela State University marks another milestone in scientific research as it becomes a forefront of numerous water resources efforts in the country. This monumental achievement was hallmarked by the Smart Water Infrastructure and Management R&D Center Building Groundbreaking Ceremony on March 26, 2022 at the College of Engineering, Isabela State University. It was attended by prominent figures in research and academic communities such as Dr. Fortunato T. Dela Peňa, Secretary of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST); Dr. Sancho A. Mabborang, DOST Undersecretary for Regional Operations; Dr. Kristian Mjoen, Director of the United Cities Future; Ms. Seok Mei Goh, Executive Director of United Cities in Singapore; University officials headed by Dr. Ricmar P. Aquino, ISU President, together with the Vice Presidents of the University: Dr. Orlando F. Balderama (RDET), Atty. Romano P. Cammayo (AFS), Dr. Boyet L. Batang (ARA), and Dr. John N. Cabansag (PELPRRGM); and project team leaders and staffs of the SWIM Program from Cagayan and Quirino State University.
The program started with a motivational message from Dr. Ricmar P. Aquino who exuded pride as ISU spearheaded the first collaborative Niche Centers in the Regions for R&D (NICER) Program of DOST. Dr. Orlando F. Balderama, the prime mover of this significant event as the SWIM Program Leader, gave a comprehensive overview detailing the significance of the SWIM logo elements and the concentration of the four complementary R&D projects of the program. He even accentuated that the establishment of SWIM R&D Center is a fulfilled dream since the country will now institute a center that will help in building resilient and empowered communities in mitigating impacts of extreme weather occurrences and water-related hazards. Prior to ceremonial groundbreaking of the building, Rev. Jomel Hope Clarion of the Echague Christian Alliance Church led the prayer of dedication.
Proceeding to the highlight of this activity, the DOST dignitaries and ISU administrators led the actual groundbreaking at the construction site of the proposed building. Dr. Fortunato T. Dela Peňa then branded the event as an inspiring moment since this historic breakthrough would pave the way towards innumerable opportunities for the University like the enormous support from various sectors, government agencies, and legislative body, and the elevation of academic program offerings of the College of Engineering as it thrives to be a Delivering Higher Education Institution (DHEI) of MS and PhD on water resources management. Moreover, Dr. Sancho A. Mabborang was also delighted to initiate the rise of a specific R&D center in the region to resolve the compelling concerns on water resources management to best serve the general public. Also, Dr. Mjoen and Ms. Goh expressed their commitment to build strong ties and lay the foundations of collaborative work with the SWIM program leaders. To this end, Dr. Romano P. Cammayo concluded this momentous event by recognizing the concerted efforts of ISU, DOST, and other stakeholders in invigorating scientific solutions to solve water-related problems in the country.