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DOST's "coming out" is sizzling hot

Monday, July 22, 2013 01:34 AM    Views : 6799by:Aristotle P. Carandang, PhD

The Department of Science and Technology (http://www.dost.gov.ph) or DOST has finally come out into the open – baring everything to the public.

Through its Expo Science 2013 (http://nstw.dost.gov.ph/nstw2013/) in celebration of the National Science and Technology Week or NSTW, the DOST reveals what Filipinos truly are – scientifically creative! Embracing the theme "Science, Technology and Innovation: The Road to a Smarter Philippines" (http://nstw.dost.gov.ph/nstw2013/?p=177) the Department has never been as bold as this one.

According to DOST Secretary Mario G. Montejo, the 2013 NSTW theme was selected for this year because this time the Department has proven that it has what it  to pursue an innovative path. He said that the success of big-ticket programs and projects such as the Automated Guideway Transit (AGT) (http://www.mirdc.dost.gov.ph/index.php/available-technologies-mainmenu-68/169-agt.html), DOSTv, and the Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards (http://www.noah.dost.gov.ph) (NOAH), and services like scholarships (http://www.sei.dost.gov.ph) ,among others, is a genuine proof that local technologies work and can be depended upon by Filipinos. "The exhibition showcases the DOST programs that are oriented towards the fulfillment of the key result areas of the current administration," he explained.

In an occasion leading to the 2013 NSTW at the SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia on July 23-27, 2013, President Benigno Simeon Aquino III visited one of the more advanced testing laboratories built within the DOST compound in Bicutan, Taguig City on May 31. In his message he said "The road to the Philippines we all dream of starts in places like this."

This testing facility called ADMATEL (http://www.admatel.com/) or Advanced Materials Testing Laboratory is under the DOST-Industrial Development Institute (ITDI) with Dr. Nuna E. Almanzor, the institute's first woman director, at the helm. It hopes to make the Philippines the new buzzword in the manufacturing sector as it ushers in a milestone in the local business scene as the first testing laboratory in the country for semiconductor components and materials. ADMATEL is a two-storey facility that meets the ISO 14644-1 standard for Class 100k clean room and is gearing for ISO 17025 accreditation for quality management systems.

Perhaps everyone would agree that this affirmation from the President that the DOSTwas on the right track was a great boost for the Department. And maybe, too, expositions such as the NSTW can bring hope to the Filipinos – that we as a people can be at par with the rest of the world. And yes, science can be not only interesting but also sexy.

What is truly interesting is that the DOST's efforts on advanced S&T are equated by more practical solutions to everyday problems. The Department looks into the needs of the people in the communities and has come up with possible alternatives. These include the Ovicidal-Larvicidal (OL) Trap (http://www.science.ph/full_video.php?key=307253) to reduce the population of the dreaded dengue-carrying mosquito known as Aedesaegyptiandthe ceramic water pot filter for cleaner and safer drinking water, among others. Services via different forms of assistance for the micro, small, and medium enterprises or MSMEs are also present all over the country through the Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (http://webgis.dost.gov.ph/) or SETUP.

The DOST believes that pursuing this path shall be crucial in achieving the promise of a forward-looking, knowledge-intensive Smarter Philippines and will bring rise to a new generation of Filipinos that can face the challenges and complexities of the new age with their growing competence and confidence in science and technology.President Aquino also said during the launch, "Innovation is the engine of any modern economy; and one look around the Philippines tells us that we have the natural inventiveness to be one of the world leaders in this regard."

The exposition presents a wide array of developmental initiatives from the DOST; ranging from technologies and services that address concerns on climate change, industrial competitiveness, agricultural productivity to social services, poverty alleviation, and countryside development.

This event truly caters to every Filipino – even the ordinary of us, from age 9 to 99! And what they have are not just stories; but concrete technologies and services developed by the Filipinos for the Filipinos that are as real as the morning sun.

With a firm belief in the principles of inclusive growth, where no single soul is left out, the DOST may truly be leading the country towards a smarter Philippines.

S & T Trivia

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In October 26, 1905, the Philippine Commission passed Act No. 1407 reorganizing and expanding the Bureau of Government Laboratories into the erstwhile Bureau of Science.

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