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The UP systemwide program on Archipelagic and Ocean Studies (Arcoast) announced the setting up of a Database and Information/Policy Network during the “Presentation of 1999-2000 Projects” on January 19 at the UP-CIDS Conference Room. UP Vice-President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Ma. Serena I. Diokno welcomed the participants of this consultation meeting which was attended by the UP Arcoast Research Fellows and project staff who come from the different units of the University as well as representatives from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and National Mapping and Resource Information Authority. Dr. Diokno has chaired the UP Archipelagic and Ocean Studies Committee since August 1999.

The Arcoast Database and Information/Policy Network Project is an initial effort to establish a University information system and databank that will provide support to the research and various activities of the systemwide program. The project has the following components: (1) Webpage development and maintenance; (2) establishment of a secure documentation and metadatabase services; (3) forging linkages with network members and various sectors; and (4) publication of a quarterly bulletin for various sectors.

Dr. Gil S. Jacinto, who has been reappointed by the UP Board of Regents as UP Arcoast Network Director on February 17, noted that the network is supposed to provide a medium for consultation in matters related to archipelagic and ocean studies prior to the setting of policies and the formulation of decisions in the University. Dr. Jacinto also clarified that “the concept of information system that we have is not a repository of all information that exists on archipelagic and ocean studies in the country and in the whole world.” This is because information technology “will enable as to just link to other sources of information without us having to be the source of information ourselves.”

Nevertheless, the project will “make available or at least point to sources of information within the University that relate to archipelagic and ocean studies.” Dr. Jacinto said that scientific publications as well as policy studies that have been published by the different UP units, among them, the UP Law Center’s Institute of International Legal Studies (IILS); UP Center for Integrative and Development Studies (CIDS), UP Diliman Marine Science Institute (MSI), UP Visayas College of Fisheries, and the UP National Institute of Geological Sciences (NIGS).

During the first quarter of the year 2000, the UP Arcoast Network has come out with the first issue of the UP Arcoast Network Bulletin. This contains news, features, perspectives, selected publications, and events related to archipelagic and ocean studies. Two webpages have also been uploaded on the Internet. The main webpage can be viewed at while the newsletter can be visited at These webpages have been disseminated initially to a select group in order to gather their comments and suggestions on the form and content.

Six other projects were presented during the January 19 meeting (photos below) by Dr. Zenaida B. Catalan of the UP Los Baños School of Environmental Science and Management on “Across Island Transport of Hazardous Chemicals;” Dr. Victor B. Maglambayan of NIGS on “Places of Geologic Interest for Tourists in the Philippines;” Dr. Cesar L. Villanoy of MSI on “Running and Maintaining Research Vessels in the Philippines;” Atty. Jay Batongbacal of IILS on “Philippine Maritime Zone Mapping;” Dr. Jacinto on “Marine Scientific Research in the Philippines and Neighboring Countries;” and Dr. Glenn D. Aguilar of the UP Visayas Institute of Marine Fisheries and Oceanology on “Philippine Marine Transport Systems.”

Dr. Diokno explained that one of the processes that was institutionalized at the UP-CIDS, which serves as UP Arcoast Secretariat, is the presentation of project proposals to peers in order to get comments “even before you have gone deep into the project.” Such discussions can help the proponents in improving their proposals. Then they will come back for a midterm presentation of their preliminary reports which they will submit for further discussions. These will serve as inputs to the preparation of their final reports which will again be discussed by a multidisciplinary, multisectoral group.


Across Island Flux
of Hazardous Chemicals

Dr. Zenaida B. Catalan

Places of Geologic Interest
for Tourists in the Philippines

Dr. Victor B. Mablambayan


Running and Maintaining
Research Vessels
in the Philippines


Dr. Cesar L. Villanoy

Philippine Maritime
Zone Mapping


Atty. Jay Batongbacal

Marine Scientific Research in the Philippines
and Neighboring Countries


Dr. Gil S. Jacinto

Philippine Marine Transport Systems

Dr. Glenn D. Aguilar