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Public Transport Recommendations of the UP COVID-19 Pandemic Response Team

Here are the recommendations of UP COVID-19 Pandemic Response Team: “Effective Reactivation of Public Transport Operations for the New Normal through an Information Exchange Platform for Collaborative Governance”

Aerial photo: Diliman, Quezon City

The aircraft we were flying on in a recent trip circled on the approach to NAIA and we were afforded some terrific opportunities to take aerial shots of Quezon City. This was before the rains of the Christmas holidays so the skies were clear of clouds. Here is one of the photos I took showing the University of the Philippines Diliman campus.

That wide road on the left is Commonwealth Avenue and you can see part of the Elliptical Road at the bottom left. There are few large patches of green in Metro Manila and many are in the largest city – Quezon City. You can see that these include the campus and Balara.

Aerial photos are no longer that rare these days as there are many who take shots from drones. Then, of course, there are shots like these you can take from the plane you’re riding. Have a nice Sunday!

Introducing the New Director of the National Center for Transportation Studies

The National Center for Transportation Studies (NCTS) of the University of the Philippines Diliman has a new Director. Dr Ma. Sheilah G. Napalang of the School of Urban and Regional Planning (SURP) succeeds Dr Hilario Sean O. Palmiano of the College of Engineering. Dr Napalang becomes the 5th Director of the NCTS since the latter’s transformation from the Transport Training Center (TTC) in the early 1990s, not counting the two OICs over that period.

NCTS turnover 2016Dr. Napalang receives the symbolic key from Dr Palmiano

Dr Napalang was a former top senior technical staff of the NCTS before she joined the faculty of SURP after a short stint at the Asian Institute of Tourism (AIT) of the same university. Prior to joining UP, she was a faculty member and former Chair of the Department of Civil Engineering of Xavier University in Cagayan De Oro City in Mindanao. Dr Napalang obtained her B.S. Civil Engineering degree at Xavier University, her master’s at Virginia Tech in the US, and her doctorate at Tokyo Tech in Japan. She has done work on sustainable transport and the viability of transport systems. She has also contributed to the Cebu Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project and the formulation of the National Environmentally Sustainable Transport (EST) Strategy. Her most recent publications are:

  • Challenges of Urban Transport Development in Metro Manila: A look back at the last 40 years (lead author)
  • State of Pavement Engineering in the Philippines and Implications on the Economic Life of National Roads (lead author)

These papers were presented at the recent 11th International Conference of the Eastern Asia Society for Transportation Studies (EASTS) held in Cebu City last September 2015.

Congratulations to Dr. Napalang for her new appointment, and thank you to Dr. Palmiano for his contributions as NCTS Director!

A new Director of the National Center for Transportation Studies

I learned a couple of days ago that there will be a new Director at the National Center for Transportation Studies (NCTS) at the University of the Philippines in Diliman soon. The new Director will be Dr. Ma. Sheilah G. Napalang who is a tenured faculty member of the university’s School of Urban and Regional Planning. She is to be the first woman head of the center, which used to be called the Transport Training Center that was created in the 1970s as part of the Japanese Government’s technical assistance to the Government of the Philippines to increase capacity and capability in transportation planning, engineering and management. Dr. Napalang will be the first Director from SURP since 2001 (since that time, all Directors were from the College of Engineering). She was a former senior technical staff of the NCTS before she joined the SURP and obtained her advanced degrees from the US (masters’ at Virginia Tech) and Japan (Dr. Eng. at Tokyo Tech).

More on this development and perhaps the turnover once everything is final and formalized.