Friday, June 21, 2024

ICT use in environment takes spotlight in S&T week

Real-life applications of information and communications technology (ICT) are taking the center-stage in this year?s celebration of the National Science and Technology Week (NSTW) currently being held at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City.

Sen. Edgardo Angara greets Sen. Loren Legarda during the opening of the NSTW. With them are DOST secretary Mario Montejo (left) and DA secretary Proceso Alcala

Senators Loren Legarda and Edgardo Angara led the line-up of guests during the NSTW opening on Tuesday, July 10. They were joined by top officials from the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Health (DOH) and Presidential Communications Office.

In her key keynote speech, Legarda cited a few of DOST’s programs that aimed to tap ICT for environmental protection and disaster prevention.

The initiatives she mentioned included the Filipinnovation on Coral Restoration Program, which aims to restore the beauty of reefs and rehabilitate life; the Superfarms that intends to increase the quality and quantity of our yield in shrimp and milkfish and make them more competitive in local and international markets; and the development of an early warning system for freshwater fishkill, which will help prevent the extensive damages in livelihood by predicting freshwater fishkill one week before its actual occurrence.

Legarda also cited the recently launched Project Noah, or Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards, a map which can be accessed through a real-time information website. It shows information coming from rain gauges and Doppler radars stationed around the country.

“Project Noah is a welcome development in making the country disaster-resilient. This will be an effective tool for disaster risk information and early warning dissemination,” she stressed.

“Through science, our cities will be planned better, our farmers and fisherfolk will be more adequately supported, our people will live in a healthier and safer environment, and our economic growth will finally start to benefit all. Let us make sure that we will achieve genuine growth and development through the indispensable triad of science, technology, and innovation,” Legarda said.

For his part, Angara called on stakeholders in both the private and public sector to ramp up efforts in spurring innovations in S&T.

Angara, chair of the Senate Committee on Science and Technology, also cited Project Noah, calling it “an indigenous Filipino innovation that will help us against Climate Change.”

He added, “This is wonderful because it shows that with some foresight and collaboration, we can innovate and create applications useful in solving our issues as a nation.”

“The ability to formulate new ways of doing things through S&T is crucial now, given that the center of gravity of global production is transitioning away from the West and towards Asia. Innovation is in fact already happening in countries like Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore. We must ride on this momentum in S&T innovation to, at the very least, catch up with our neighbors.”


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