Friday, March 1, 2024

New DOST chief vows more R&D to spur dev’t in countryside

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) will bring science and technology closer to more Filipinos to enable them to realize that the two disciplines are the engines of growth and progress.

DOST secretary Fortunato dela Pena (Credit: PNA)
DOST secretary Fortunato dela Pena (Credit: PNA)

In his message, DOST secretary Fortunato dela Pena said the government under the administration of Pres. Rodrigo Duterte is determined to harness the benefits of science and technology to spur development especially in the countryside to boost inclusive growth.

In relation to the pursuit of empowering the people belonging from the bottom of the pyramid, Dela Pena pointed out that the DOST is going to craft an environment conducive to research and development.

“We are quite aware that research and development foster innovation,” he said in his remarks during the opening of the week-long celebration of the 2016 National Science and Technology Week (NSTW) held at the DOST office in Taguig City.

Dela Pena stressed the DOST will pursue the development of regional-based research and development hubs to address the needs of the people in the provinces for economic empowerment.

“We want to make sure research and development will harness the potential of the regions for economic development,” he explained.

In expounding, Dela Pena said there will be times people will need to step out of their comfort zone to pursue the objective. “For me, I have to break out of my comfort zone from retirement,” he chuckled.

To make science and closer to the people, Dela Pena noted there will be a synchronized celebration in all DOST regional offices aside from the four major hubs in Bicutan, Taguig, Quezon City, Manila and Los Banos, Laguna.

“This is the first time that DOST will be doing a simultaneous celebration not only in Manila, but to the different regions of the country,” De la Pena explained.

He added the DOST hopes to uphold the enthusiasm on science and technology created by the administration of Pres. Benigno S. Aquino III and pursue the programs that were unfinished for the “benefit of even those who are the outskirts of development”.

To make science more relevant and interesting to the people, Dela Pena stressed that it must grow in response to the times. “It must work in the creation of development,” he said.

“Moreover, science and technology must be the leader in this task.”

Meanwhile, the DOST awarded four scientists for their significant contributions to scientific research.

Dr. Gisele Concepcion, a professor at the Marine Science Institute-UP Diliman and vice president for academic affairs of the UP system, received the Dioscoro L. Umali Medal for her outstanding accomplishments in research, science education and championing the advocacy of science and technology.

Dr. Junie Billiones, a faculty of the Health Sciences Center of the Philippines in UP Manila, was awarded the Eduardo Quisumbing Medal for his “pioneering studies on “Computer Aided Discovery of Leads against the Druggable Targets of Mycobaterium tuberculosis.”

Dr. Roel Suralta received the Eduardo Quisumbing Medal “in recognition of his significant contributions to crop science research on root plasticity in rice under soil moisture fluctuations.” In 2009, the DOST-NAST cited Suralta in its Search for Young Scientist Award.

Dr. Alonzo Gabriel, a full professor of food science and nutrition and a university at the Department of Food Science and Nutrition, College of Home Economics, UP Diliman, is this year’s recipient of the Julian Banzon medal for his “outstanding research on “Precision Food Processing”, which establishes and integrates models for microbiological inactivation, nutritional quality deterioration, physiochemical changes, and sensory quality changes in the processing of food.”


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