University of the Philippines Los Baños

The UPLB Horizon is issued quarterly and features news, feature articles, research and extension updates, literary pieces, and information of general interest to UPLB and its publics. For contributions, e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Statement on the Partial Collapse of the Temporary Roofing 

for the UPLB 43rd Commencement Program, July 4, 2015


         UPLB regrets the partial collapse of the temporary roofing in the DL Umali Freedom Park, where the 43rd graduation ceremony was held last July 4.

This is UPLB’s first graduation in July, following the academic calendar shift implemented in UP in 2014. With the onset of the rainy season, the University saw the need to provide  temporary roofing for the graduating students and parents of honor students and guests.

The supply and construction of the temporary roofing were awarded to a private contractor that started work in the last week of June.

A heavy downpour occurred before noon on graduation day. At around 1:00 pm, or three hours before the ceremony was to take place,  the end part of the roofing structure collapsed. No student, staff, or parent was hurt, although one member of the contracting team sustained minor injuries. The contractual laborer is safe after prompt treatment at the University Health Service.

            The University administration immediately initiated police work and investigation, and is closely coordinating with the private contractor for its accountabilities.

            UPLB is grateful to the university community and guests for their cooperation and understanding as adjustments were made to carry out the commencement program.





An ICT-based crop forecasting system enables
farmers to decide on planting dates for higher crop
yields and higher net income. (Photo courtesy of SARAI)

 ICT-based tools and systems that guide farmers on the best time to plant and help researchers determine the impact of climate change on a forest; web-based maps that identify areas at risk to natural calamities using a free software; and a tool which enables one to trace the source of pork sold in grocery stores. These are just among the ICT-based tools that UPLB scientists and researchers presented at the ICT Asia 2015 Regional Workshop on May 25-26 held at SEARCA in the UPLB campus.

ICT-Asia is an annual scientific conference that focuses on the applications of information and communication technology (ICT) on climate change modeling and monitoring, disaster risk reduction, food security, and urban and rural informatics. Spearheaded by the French Government and held in collaboration with SEARCA, UNESCO, and IRRI, ICT Asia 2015 drew participants among systems developers and scientists from Asia, including five from UPLB.

Dr. Felino P. Lansigan, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and professor at the Institute of Statistics, presented a crop forecasting system (CFS) that enables farmers to decide on planting dates for higher crop yields and higher net income, or minimize their losses due to extreme weather events.

Concepcion L. Khan, assistant professor at the Institute of Computer Science (ICS), presented a collaborative portal framework that features adaptive planting calendars, early warning system, and nutrient and pest advisories that aim to help farmers increase their yield, or minimize their losses due to extreme weather conditions.

Meanwhile, Dr. Nathaniel C. Bantayan, professor at the Institute of Renewable and Natural Resources and director of the Makiling Center for Mountain Ecosystems, proposed an automated system of gathering data on forest tree parameters using radio-frequency identification and geomatics. This will help researchers determine the impact of climate change on tree growth and resiliency, and on forest dynamics.

Prof. Jaderick Pabico, also from ICS, presented a system that ensures meat quality and safety through a nationwide pork tracking system that uses an RFID device to monitor the process that the product went through before it reached the market.

On the other hand, Charmaine Marie A. Pabelico, a fourth year BS Computer Science student of ICS, developed a web-based geohazard map for the local government unit of Los Baños, Laguna using an open source software. The web-based map voids the use of expensive and complex licensed software in developing standard geohazard maps.

The opening program saw the gathering of top officials from various Asian and French organizations.

In his message, Dr. Gil C. Saguitguit, Jr., director of SEARCA,  expressed his desire for Southeast Asia’s continuous strong ties with French research institutions in advancing agricultural and rural development. Likewise, UPLB Chancellor Fernando C. Sanchez Jr., called for stronger research partnerships among the participants.

Dr. Amelia P. Guevara, undersecretary for research and development of the Department of Science and Technology, commended the gathering of bilateral partners. She said that ICT has become ubiquitous and integrated in daily life and she cited DOST programs that are making full use of ICT, such as Project NOAH and DREAM.

Prof. Kanchana Kancha-nasut, vice president for research of the Asian Institute of Technology based in Thailand, highlighted the need for more participation in climate change research. She noted that the original idea of bringing together French and Southeast Asian ICT researchers has grown into a wide and strong network of institutions and people.

His Excellency Gilles Garachon, French Ambassador to the Philippines, noted the importance of ICT Asia 2015 in solving food production and climate change issues. He said that the map of the world is changing because of climate change and that  the current generation must ensure that “food is available, air is fresh, and there is water” for future generations.

Meanwhile, André de Bussy, counselor for regional cooperation for the ASEAN of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development, discussed the contributions of ICT in fostering regional cooperation and its vital role in disaster risk reduction and management.

               Also present were Dr. Luc le Calvez, director of the Office for Southeast Asia of the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), who encouraged participants to collaborate with the the CNRS; and Dr. Jean-Pascual Torreton, representative in Vietnam and Regional Coordinator for Asia of the Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD), who noted that the conference’s purpose is closely linked with their organization’s aim of helping developing countries and encouraging research development while mutualizing research benefits. (OPR release)





Dr. David Manalo (2nd fr left) proudly displays his award plaque. With him are His Excellency Josef Mulluer,
Ambassador of Austria to the Philippines; Dr. Florentino Monsalud, director of the ASC-FSSRI; Dr. Manalo’s
wife Pacita; and Ms. Lisa Koscak, commercial counsellor of the Austrian Embassy. (Photo courtesy of ASC/FSSRI)


A simple and low-cost early warning system (EWS) for communities that face heightened risks of landslides especially during heavy rains has won yet another international prize.

“Bell and Bottle: Low cost EWS for landslide-prone communities in remote areas,” a technology developed by Dr. David Manalo, a university researcher at the Farming Systems and Soil Resources Institute (FSSRI) of the Agricultural Systems Cluster was one of two projects that the Energy Globe Foundation named in its 2015 National Award for the Philippines. This award is referred to as the largest and most important environmental prize in the world.

In 2009, this project had won in the challenge “to come up with an idea in local communities to help save the planet and people from the effects of climate change” posed in the Ninth Global Development Marketplace sponsored by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Danish MFA), and the World Bank (WB) Institute.

The Energy Globe Foundation cited Manalo’s Bell and Bottle innovation which is used as an EWS for hard-to-reach landslide-prone communities. The foundation recognized how people were trained to use the EWS.

The Bell and the Bottle EWS has saved no less than 20 villages where no casualties were reported since the project was implemented.

Over 170 countries participated in this year’s awards with over 1,500 project submissions.

The two winners received a certificate from the Energy Globe Foundation signed by the foundation’s Jury chairperson Maneka Gandhi and Energy Globe’s founder Wolfgang Neumann. The Energy Globe Foundation was founded by Wolfgang Neumann, an Austrian energy pioneer. The awards given by the foundation focus on energy efficiency and renewable energy. (with report from



CHED Sangalang

The Graduate School will hold its hooding and recognition rites at the DL Umali Hall on July 3 with an institution builder and a commissioner of higher education to give the keynote address to the graduating class.  Dr. Ruperto S. Sangalang is an alumnus, having worked on his master’s degree in agricultural economics and extension education at UPLB. He finished his Ph.D. in international development and planning as a Fulbright-Hays scholar at the Ohio State University in the United States.

A President Emeritus of Cavite State University, Dr. Sangalang has been on secondment to the Commission on Higher Education as a commissioner since 2012. Dr. Sangalang served the Cavite State University as its president for more than 20 years (1983 to 2008).

A visiting professorial lecturer of  UPLB, Dr. Sangalang’s professional interest include management of and quality assurance in higher education institutions, comparative education systems, agricultural education and administration, and rural and international development. Dr. Sangalang was recently conferred the International Alumni Award from the Ohio State University.

(Photo from:

New appointments



Dr. Enrico P. Supangco, Dean of the College of Agriculture. He obtained his Doctor of Philosophy in Range Science from the Texas A & M University, College Station, Texas USA. He was the UPLB vice-chancellor for research and extension from 2005 to 2011 and has served as the director of the Center for Technology Transfer and Entrepreneurship from 2012 to 2015.


Dr. Willie P. Abasolo, Dean of the College of Forestry and Natural Resources. Dr. Abasolo obtained his Doctor of Agriculture, major in Forest Products from the Graduate School of Bioagricultural Science, Nagoya, Japan. He earned his Post-Doctoral Fellowship from the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces in Potsdam, Germany.


Dr. Jose V. Camacho Jr., Dean of the Graduate School.  Dr. Camacho earned his Doctor in Economics from the Graduate School of Economics, Kyoto University, Kyoto City, Japan in 2007. He is an Associate Professor 7 at the College of Economics and Management, and affiliate professor at the College of Public Affairs and the UP Open University.



Dr. Raden G. Piadozo, Dean of the College of Human Ecology. He obtained his Doctor of Philosophy from UPLB in 2011. He also served as assistant to the dean of CHE in May 1989-June 1990 and was its college secretary from July 2002 to April 2011. Dr. Piadozo completed Ms. Agricultural Economics and BS Agriculture in UPLB.



Dr. Decibel V. Faustino-Eslava, Dean of the School of Environmental Science and Management. She finished two MS degrees: in Geology from the University of the Philippines, National Institute of Geological Sciences Diliman, Quezon City and in Earth Systems from Kumamoto University Department of Systems in Natural Environment, Graduate School of Science and Technology Kurokami, Kumamoto, Japan. She obtained her Doctor of Philosophy in Geology from the University of Hongkong, Department of Earth Sciences.


Dr. Nina Micosa-Cadiz, Director of the Office of Student Affairs. Dr. Cadiz obtained her Ph.D. in Horticulture (Crop Physiology) minor in Plant Botany from UPLB in 1995. She was the director of the Institute of Biological Sciences (IBS) from 2012 to 2015 prior to her appointment as OSA Director and guided the IBS to its accreditation under the ASEAN University Network Quality Assurance (AUN-QA).


Dr. Rosario Gionson-Monsalud, Director of the National Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology. Dr. Monsalud obtained her Ph.D. in Microbiology from UPLB in 1989. She is Scientist I at UPLB and is an affiliate professor at the Institute of Biological Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences and Agricultural Systems Cluster of the College of Agriculture, UPLB.


Dr. Juan Carlos T. Gonzalez, Director of the Museum of Natural History. Dr. Gonzalez obtained his Doctor of Philosophy in Zoology from the Edward Grey Institute for Field Ornithology and St. Annes’s College, University of Oxford in 2012. He is recipient of the National Academy of Science and Technology (Philippines) 2011 Outstanding Award for Zoology. He is a professor in zoology at the Institute of Biological Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, UPLB. (JPA Aquino)