Saturday, April 13, 2024

As part of the 2nd International Smart City Exposition and Networking Engagement (iSCENE) and celebrating partnerships made between Philippine agencies and institutions, the inauguration of the Smart Water Infrastructure and Management (SWIM) Building, and groundbreaking of the Knowledge, Innovation, Science, and Technology (KIST) Park was held on April 13, 2024 at the Isabela State University.

The said inauguration and groundbreaking ceremonies were attended and witnessed by officials of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) headed by Dr. Renato U. Solidum, Jr. (Secretary, DOST) and Hon. Tereso O. Panga (Director General, PEZA) respectively. 

Local government officials were also present such as Hon. Faustino “Inno” A. Dy V (Representative, 6th District of Isabela), and Hon. Francis Faustino “Kiko” A. Dy (Mayor, Municipality of Echague).

With a funding of 5 million pesos from the House of Representatives through the coordination of Congressman Dy, the SWIM Building was constructed and established to continue the project’s mission of introducing innovative water management approaches by institutionalizing a University-based water research center.

By undertaking research and development education, capacity-building programs in the water resources sector and river basins, and technical extension services, the center ensures the reinforcement of the Cagayan Valley Region due to recurring problems of water hazards due to inclement weather conditions.

Due to its nature, SWIM is one of the Niche Centers in the region for R&D (NICER) and stands as the lone center which caters to Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) problems in the country.

On the other hand, the groundbreaking of the KIST Park is part of PEZA’s objective to train and transform Filipino workers into multi-knowledge, multi-skilled, and world-class workers specializing in production and manufacturing capabilities – making the Philippines a digitalized and export-driven economy.

With the creation of the said park, the University will be enabled to partner with foreign universities in bringing degree programs, skills training, and technology to their local KIST partners, hoping to attract foreign students and make the Philippines not just an investment destination but also as an education hub of Asia.

As an ecozone located within State Colleges and Universities (SUCs), the goal of the headquarters is to leverage engineering and other much-needed courses required by various industries. It is envisioned to be a center for technology transfer and commercialization, and a platform to integrate various science, technology, and innovation (STI) initiatives in the region.

As part of the groundbreaking ceremony, Dr. Jonathan N. Nayga (KIST Program Leader) delivered a presentation on the different R&D centers located in the University, showcasing its testament to delivering science and development for the people.