DOST kickstarts NSTW Mindanao in Davao

Monday, July 16, 2018 11:43 AM    Views : 413by:Allyster A. Endozo, DOST–STII

The sixth of July became a landmark day as the National Science and Technology Week (NSTW) was launched outside of Metro Manila for the first time, and this happened at the SMX Convention Center in SM Lanang, Davao City.

In his speech, DOST Secretary Fortunato T. de la Peña highlighted the Niche Centers in the Regions for R&D (NICER) program as measure against regional inequality in research and development capabilities. According to him, only 17 percent of 20,000 science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) scholars are from Mindanao, and that 46 out of 1,600 municipalities nationwide have yet to be reached by DOST's scholarship programs.

Also highlighted was the Balik Scientist Act signed by President Rodrigo R. Duterte on 15 Jun 2018 which is expected to attract more overseas-based Filipino experts from 10 per year to an ambitious target of 40 by 2022.

Sec. de la Peña likewise recognized the nine Balik scientists in attendance, namely Dr. Louie Mar A. Gangcuangco, Dr. Arnold A. Lubguban, Dr. Arnold C. Alguno, Dr. Eli Christopher I. Enobio, Dr. Gerard F. Dumancas, Dr. Raymond Francis I. Sarmiento, Dr. Jonel P. Saludes, Dr. Hernando P. Bacosa, Dr. Emily S. Antonio, and Dr. Jose Ildefonso U. Rubrico.

Also recognized were local partner-entrepreneurs and over 200 scholars under the SETUP 2.0 and Bangon Marawi programs, respectively. Presidents of state colleges and universities in Mindanao were likewise in attendance, such as Dr. Milabel Enriquez-Ho (Western Mindanao State University), Dr. Milavel D. Nazario and Dr. Nelson P. Cabral (Zamboanga State College of Marine Sciences and Technology), Dr. Daylinda L. Laput (Jose Rizal Memorial State University), Dr. Edgardo H. Rosales (J.H. Cerilles State College), Dr. Juarlito V. Garcines (Agusan del Sur State College of Agriculture and Technology), and Dr. Anthony M. Penaso (Caraga State University). Also present was Maria Rowena Flores-Sabban, assistant secretary of the Presidential Legislative Liaison Office.

Hon. Karlo Alexei B. Nograles, Davao City's 1st District representative, acknowledged the presence of his fellow representatives: Hon. Deogracias Victor B. Savellano, Hon. Divina Grace C. Yu, and Hon. Mark Aeron H. Sambar. In his speech, he announced the scheduled approval of three pending bills to the House Committee on Appropriations, namely the Comprehensive Nuclear Regulatory Framework, the Philippine Space Development and Utilization Policy, and the Provincial S&T Directors Amendment. He congratulated DOST for the institutionalization of the Balik Scientist program and acknowledged the agency's role, through his Alma Mater—the Philippine Science High School, for embodying in him "the core values of truth, excellence, and service to the nation."

With Sec. de la Peña and Dr. Josette T. Biyo, director of DOST-Science Education Institute (SEI), they recognized exceptional scholar-graduates from Mindanao's tertiary institutions: AMA Computer College (one cum laude); Ateneo de Davao University (one magna cum laude); Davao Oriental College of Science and Technology (two cum laudes); Mindanao State University General Santos (one magna cum laude, six cum laudes); Notre Dame of Marbel University (one cum laude); Southern Philippines Agri-Business and Marine and Aquatic School of Technology Digos (one cum laude); Southern Philippines Agri-Business and Marine and Aquatic School of Technology Malita (three cum laudes); Sultan Kudarat State University (one cum laude); University of Mindanao Davao (six cum laudes);University of Mindanao Digos (two magna cum laudes, one cum laude);University of Southeastern Philippines (three cum laudes);University of Southern Mindanao (one magna cum laude, three cum laudes); University of Southern Philippines (one magna cum laude, four cum laudes); and University of the Philippines Mindanao (four cum laudes).

Also recognized were youth excellence in science medalists from Mindanao's high schools. These were Ateneo de Davao University (four bronzes); Colegio de San Ignacio (one bronze); Davao Christian High School (one gold, one silver); Davao City Special School (one bronze); Doña Pilar Learning Center Foundation Inc. (one bronze); Jose Maria College (one silver); Philippine Science High School SOCCSKSARGEN (four silvers, five bronzes); Philippine Science High School Southern Mindanao (one gold, one silver, and two bronzes); Precious International School of Davao (two golds, two bronzes); and San Pedro College of Davao (one bronze).

In the evening, President Rodrigo R. Duterte arrived at the venue to view various scientific, technological, and innovative products and services featured at the exhibit. In his speech, he reiterated the government's long-term vision of matatag, maginhawa, at panatag na buhay for every Filipino.

"It is this administration's priority to provide comfortable and secure life for the Filipino.Rest assured that you have my full support in empowering individuals, in bringing our country towards better heights. I trust that you will be with me all throughout together in establishing a brighter and better future for all. Maraming salamat. This I can assure you," he said.

Sec. de la Peña revealed that he pitched idea to hold the NSTW celebration in Mindanao to the President during the latter's speaking event in Bo'ao, China back in early April. This was in line with the administration's emphasis on the "three I's"—infrastructure, interconnectivity, and innovation.

He added that this is a way to showcase the results of DOST's nationwide interventions during the past year. These include the rehabilitation of war-torn Marawi City, the SETUP 2.0 program for small and medium enterprises, the Human Resource Development program that reached scholars from 90 percent of municipalities nationwide, and the Balik Scientist Act that was recently signed on 15 Jun 2018.


DOST Secretary Fortunato T. de la Peña (third from the right) confers the youth excellence in science awardees from Mindanao's high schools.


Davao City's 1st District Representative Karlo Alexei B. Nograles (fourth from left) bangs the gong to formally open the NSWT Mindanao exhibit at the SMX Convention Center in SM Lanang, Davao City.


President Rodrigo R. Duterte (at the podium) on stage with Sec. Fortunato T. de la Peña (center) and Mindanao Development Authority Chair Abul Khayr D. Alonto (far right) to deliver his speech to NSTW Mindanao attendees.

S & T Trivia

" In Spring 1999, the water-based insect buster called Household Insecticide (HI) won Gonzalo Catan Jr. the Silver Medal at the 27th International Exhibition of Inventions in Geneva, Switzerland. This Filipino innovation makes use of 21 useful microorganisms, among other materials, to kill flies, mosquitoes, termites, ants, roaches, as well as dog ticks, fleas and lice. "

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