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Last 09-10 December 2021, the River Basin Control Office (RBCO) conducted a system testing of the Web-Based River Basin Integrated Information Management System (RBIIMS) in Angeles City, Pampanga. At the end of the training program, the participants are expected to describe the details of web-based RBIIMS, its structure, functionalities, and requirements; to collate, standardize, and encode data into the web-based RBIIMS; to describe the procedures in maintaining the system, including quality control and security; to understand the applications of the web-based RBIIMS in integrated river basin management; and to develop a plan of action on the operationalization of the web-based RBIIMS across the different priority river basins. The activity enabled the participants to familiarize themselves with the different data categories of the system and its different functionalities.

The workshop was attended by DENR Regional Office, PENRO, and CENRO representatives from Region III who are the GIS Specialists in their respective offices. The trainers were led by Partnerships in Environmental Management for the Seas of East Asia (PEMSEA) staff and assisted by Knowledge and Information Systems Service – Information Systems Division (KISS-ISD), and RBCO.

Group photo of the participants from DENR Region III together with the facilitators from the DENR Central Office

09 December 2021, the first day of the workshop, was opened with messages from RBCO ED Nelson V. Gorospe and KISS-ISD OIC Division Chief Antonio Bautista, Jr. The system was introduced by Ms. Daisy Padayao of PEMSEA, and she discussed the functionality and parts of the system. In the afternoon, Mr. Rodante Corpuz of PEMSEA presented the functions of the query system and other features such as the changelog and notifications. He also guided the participants during the actual system check, where they were asked to explore the features of the system. The structure, organization, and components of the RBIIMS; data collection, standardization, and quality control; accessing the web-based RBIIMS and data encoding; and standardizing record numbers to facilitate data integration among river basins and coastal areas were some of the topics discussed during the workshop.

The participants were provided a Google Form to answer and write down issues encountered during the hands-on testing of the system. An open forum was held at the end of the first day of the workshop.

Ms. Padayao of PEMSEA presenting the timeline of the development of the RBIIMS

On 10 December 2021, the second day of the workshop, Ms. Padayao discussed additional functionalities such as how the system works offline. The session concluded with the participants’ proposals for improving the system. Including improvement of the map layout from the menu’s start; changing the label “Forest” to “Forest Resources” to make it easier to identify the fauna and flora; adding another category for Protected Areas, for the specific species and sites of each concerned river basin; having linkages for the specific category for a quick search of the data; and having a dedicated encoder and reviewer at PENROs and CENROs.

During the Closing Program, Executive Director Gorospe thanked the participants for attending the workshop. He stated that it is an opportune time to continue testing the system. It would be ideal if all glitches are discovered before the system’s roll out. Ms. Padayao noted the participants’ active participation and for not breaking the enthusiasm for improving the system. She is looking forward to a very comprehensive database that will be linked to the other agencies and can be used as a platform for exchanging information on river basins.

In February 2022, a consultation meeting with the E2RB Technical Team composed of representatives from the Forest Management Bureau (FMB), Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB), Environmental Management Bureau (EMB), and National Water Resources Board (NWRB) was held where the RBIIMS field data sets were presented. Comments were raised for changes and some are for the inclusion of additional data sets. It was relayed to PEMSEA and they are currently updating the data sets of the RBIIMS based on the comments of the Technical Team.

The RBCO staff met with the E2RB Technical Team for consultation on RBIIMS

At present, RBCO and KISS-ISD are negotiating with PEMSEA for the turn-over of the source code before the roll-out of the system to the regions. (Angela Elline S. Radam)