An ARMS of prevention can be better than a pound of cure.

Amidst the water scarcity hitting the Philippines, a technology funded by the Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD) and the National Water Resources Boards (NWRB) may yet be the key in averting a water crisis.

The Automated Real-time Monitoring System (ARMS) for Dams and Reservoir, a technology developed by Mapua University employs wireless sensors to provide the NWRB, the regulating agency for all water resources development and management activities in the country, access to real-time data on water levels and a decision support tool for the daily management of the reservoirs.

In cooperation with the National Power Corporation, the dam administrator, Mapua was able to deploy the ARMS system in the cascading Ambuklao, Binga, and San Roque dams along the Agno River. The cost-effective ARMS system provide NWRB real-time data on water level, rainfall, humidity, temperature, atmospheric pressure, soil moisture, and wind speed--all hydrological parameters necessary for monitoring water availability and managing the reservoirs.

DOST-PCIEERD Executive Director Dr. Enrico C. Paringit is confident that this technology can help government in mitigating risks in watersheds like drought and floods as it provides real-time data on the conditions of the dams.

“We can outsmart water scarcity by employing smart technologies and using real data to create science-based decisions and policies to ensure ample water supply.  ARMS is locally developed, making it a cost-effective tool for our water companies,” he said.

ARMS project leader Francis Aldrine Uy said all of the data coming from the deployed sensors are received in real-time to the office of the NWRB.

“These data help the NWRB and dam operators in making smart decisions regarding dam operation specifically in the utilization of water,” he said.

Screenshot of the dashboard of the ‘Arms4dams’ web portal for the real-time monitoring of the dams.

Uy said that for data storage and archiving, the web portal “Arms4Dams” was also developed for information viewing at different access levels for the public, government agencies, and other relevant stakeholders.

“Since data is transmitted in real-time, data retrieval is also available at the portal wherein users can view information from past occurrences of rainfall,” he said.

Uy said data gathered from the ARMS system can also be used for hydrologic simulations that can predict water availability among the monitored dams.

“These simulations can also help dam operators prepare for various climates and the effects that come with it. For this purpose, the ARMS system has also designed a model that can accurately and visually reflect these information on water levels,” he said.

Uy added that these data can be used for hydraulic simulations that can alert operators on possible dam overflow, therefore providing readiness for water discharge and evacuation in the area as needed.

He expressed hopes that ARMS can be deployed in all dams in the country to help government officials and dam operators in managing the water resource.

“Better water resource management is within ARMS reach with our system as we can have predictive analysis in the future and create science-based decisions on our water resource,” he said.

In the future, ARMS will also be installed and deployed in Magat and Pantabangan Dams and Reservoirs in partnership with the National Irrigation Administration.


The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) is set to unveil the Philippines’ first Advanced Manufacturing Center (AMCen) which aspires to be the country’s leading research center in innovative 3D printing technologies, processes, and materials.

DOST-Philippine Council for Industry, Energy, and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD) Executive Director Dr. Enrico C. Paringit expressed optimism on the prospects of Additive Manufacturing, more popularly known as 3D printing, in the country as it move towards Industry 4.0.

“Additive manufacturing has limitless potentials--from aircrafts and automobile to medical and fashion applications--it is possible to create products for the same or lower cost without compromising quality.  We are hopeful that with the establishment of AMCen we can see more researches geared towards this cutting-edge technology,” he said.

Additive manufacturing, allows rapid fabrication of various three-dimensional objects ranging from small parts and components, to three-dimensional structures such as cars, houses, and bridges. AMCen aims not only to have a user access facility but also to enhance R&D activities with the industry and academia.

This initiative will harness, strengthen, and expand the country’s capabilities in 3D printing and advanced design and manufacturing in the following areas: 1) Aerospace and Defense, 2) Biomedical/Healthcare, 3) Printed Electronics, 4) Agricultural Machinery, and 5) Automotive.

Balik Scientist and Case Western Reserve University professor, Dr. Rigoberto Advincula said that AMCen presents a unique position for the Philippines as it will be one of the first government-led centers in the ASEAN region that aspires to be a game-changer leading to Industry 4.0 goals.

Dr. Advincula will be leading the development of the center together with  researchers from the Industrial Technology Development Institute (ITDI) and the Metals Industry Research and Development Center (MIRDC).

The AMCen will be featuring two state-of-the-art research facilities that are seen to spur interest in Additive Manufacturing Research, namely: Multiple Materials Platform for Additive Manufacturing (MATDEV) and the Research on Advanced Prototyping for Product Innovation and Development using Additive Manufacturing Technologies (RAPPID-ADMATEC).

The MATDEV will be the laboratory-scale facility for design, materials development, and testing for additive manufacturing prototyping wherein materials such as ceramics, polymers, nanomaterials, and any combination of two or more of these materials will be developed and optimized. The facility guarantees reduction in material cost, lead time, importation, and wastage.

Materials development for additive manufacturing application shall be coupled with the recommendation or adoption of applicable standards particularly those critical applications of the technology.

On the other other hand, RAPPID-ADMATEC will provide the technology needed to create more innovative designs and speed up prototyping by reducing fabrication and processing time of components and products. Moreover, it will focus on the development and production of complex metal-based parts and materials using metal powders, cater to the production or localization of obsolete parts or repair and replacement of components to increase availability and reliability of existing equipment, as well as to improve manufacturing strategies and product quality through R&D, product development, consultancy and training services. (30)


For reference:

Dr. Rigoberto Advincula’s interview fo AMCen with DOSTv:

Dr. Rigoberto Advincula’s interview as Balik Scientist with DOSTv:


Last January 22, Balik Scientist Dr. Richard Alorro paid a courtesy visit to PCIEERD Executive Director, Dr. Enrico Paringit.

Dr. Alorro is an expert in Geo-Environmental Engineering. He is hosted by the Mindanao State University - Iligan Institute of Technology (MSU-IIT), where he will be conducting special seminars and lectures to undergraduate and post-graduate students, academic staff members, and government and industry representatives, together with other universities in Mindanao. He will also be assisting the MSU-IIT College of Engineering and Technology in mentoring graduate and senior undergraduate students on research and development of Metallurgical Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering, and Sustainable Development.

Dr. Alorro is currently a university lecturer at the Western Australian School of Mines in Curtin University, West Australia.

The Balik Scientist Program (BSP) is a brain-gain initiative of the Department of Science and Technology to encourage Filipino scientists, technologists, and experts in other countries to return to the Philippines and share their expertise to accelerate scientific, agro-industrial, economic, and human resources development in the country. For more info, visit

Last February 8, Senator Paulo Benigno "Bam" Aquino IV congratulated Dr. Gay Jane Perez, winner of the 2018 ASEAN-US Science Prize for Women, as she pays her courtesy call in his office at the Senate of the Philippines in Pasay City. Accompanying Dr. Perez is her mother and Ms. Lita Suerte-Felipe of the DOST Legislative Liaison Office.

Travellers Pension House & Beach Resort, General Luna, Surigao del Norte
(Photo by Travellers Beach Resort)

The Philippines is known for its white sand beaches and turquoise lagoons.  It is also home of renowned surf spots, one of which is in General Luna, Siargao, the home to the famous “Cloud 9” wave. However, beach resorts in the island have been facing a pressing issue on treating their wastewater as this has an effect on ensuring the sustainability of Siargao’s tourism.

“’The previous septic tank of the resort has a bottomless design, kaya direkta po ang paglabas ng aming wastewater sa dagat. At ang contamination po nito sa ating tubig ay malaking problema ng mga resorts dito sa isla. (The previous septic tanks of the resort have a bottomless design, so the wastewater drains straight into the sea.  The contamination of the water is one of the biggest problems of resorts in the island)” narrated Ms. Editha Gonzales, former General Manager of Travellers Pension House & Beach Resort in General Luna, Siargao.

Cleaning up wastewater has been a real challenge and poses a serious environmental threat. To address this concern, the Department of Science and Technology - Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development supported a research project to develop a wastewater clean-up technology.

(Photo by Travellers Pension House & Beach Resort)


(Photo by Travellers Pension House & Beach Resort)

The Eco-Friendly Septic System or Eco-Sep is a self-sustaining, portable, and movable wastewater treatment system that uses an innovative combination of bio-stimulation and filtration enhanced with organominerals, a technology developed by Dr. Merlinda Palencia through the support of DOST-PCIEERD.

The Eco-Sep’s Vigormin Organo Mineral (ViOM) is an odorless, white powder composed of various organo-minerals that has the capability to neutralize the poignant odor and the mucky color in wastewaters or septic water.  Its application significantly improves water quality based on the effluents standards set by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

Following the successful testing of Eco-Sep in the sewerage systems of the bunkers of Yolanda survivors in Palo, Leyte last 2013 and on a Materials Recovery Facilities (MRFs), hotels, jetty ports, and households in Boracay last 2015, DOST Caraga installed and field-tested Eco-Sep in selected tourism areas and environmentally compromised areas through a DOST-PCIEERD funded project titled, “Field Testing of Eco-Friendly Septic System for the Tourism Sector in Siargao Island, Surigao del Norte” or Project FRESH. 

Eco-Sep Pilot Plant in Tanauan, Batangas Tank (Photo by DOST-PCIEERD)
Drain field area at Travellers Pension House & Beach Resort (Photo by DOST-CARAGA)


The application of Vigormin was tested in the DOST-PCIEERD funded projects and was proven that VIGORMIN proper application can treat septic water to a Class C water.
(Photo by Dr. Merlinda Palencia)

“Since ma-install po ang Eco-Sep dito sa resort na may draining field area, nagkaroon na po kami ng mas maayos na pag-drain ng aming wastewater. Ito po direktang nagiging pandilig sa aming mga halaman. Walang amoy at malinis. Salamat sa DOST dahil isa kami sa mga naging recipient ng Eco-Sep.” said Ms. Gonzales.

Further, she thanked DOST for providing a one-year supply of Virgormin and mentioned that after a year of full implementation of the improved sewerage system thru Eco-Sep, their resort is proud to have met the effluent standards set by DENR.

Enjoining the jumpstart, Sugba Lagoon in the Municipality of Del Carmen, also in Siargao Island will also be launching their Eco-Sep this February 10, 2019.

Realizing the positive outcome, other hotels, beach resorts and LGUs in the island have inquired and expressed adopting Eco-Sep.

Dr. Enrico Paringit, Executive Director of DOST-PCIEERD, expressed assurance that such projects in the future will continually be supported.

“We will continue to provide solutions to societal problems through strategic research and development.” he said.

Dr. Paringit said that DOST-PCIEERD will take the lead in conducting collaborative efforts to maintain and protect the environment and the country’s ecotourism through science and technology interventions.