The Department of Science and Technology’s (DOST) 2014 National Science and Technology Week (NSTW) opened on a grand note at the SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia Complex in Pasay City with the presence of no less than Senate Committee on Science and Technology Chairperson Sen. Ralph G. Recto and a unique production number by performers from the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP).
Sen. Recto enjoined members of the scientific community including DOST officials and guests to invest more on research and development (R&D) as he decried the lack of human resources in science and technology (S&T) related fields. “There are only 78 full-time R&D researches for every 1 million Filipinos,” he told the audience during the opening ceremony last July 24, 2014.
According to the senator, DOST correctly identified the 8 Outcomes or targets around which the Department’s initiatives are built. These outcomes are agriculture, enterprise development, industry, IT-BPM, government connectivity, health, education, and disaster preparedness.
Addressing the DOST community, Recto said that the Department hit the target in identifying these needs and to meet these needs, S&T should be harnessed. Politicians can advocate for S&T in loud voices, declared Recto, “but only scientists can find the solutions.”
Earlier, DOST Secretary Mario G. Montejo explained these 8 DOST Outcomes on which the 2014 NSTW exhibits and fora are based. “These outcomes are transformative, meaning they will change how we do things,” he said, adding that these outcomes interweave with one another as strategies for fast-tracking national development especially with the coming ASEAN integration of 2015.
Meanwhile, an artful and engaging number by CCP performers entitled “Experiencing Science Through Art” – a parade of 18 creatures and fairies representing the different DOST agencies – made for a grand opening salvo for NSTW. Clad in colorful and creatively crafted costumes, the performers glided, swayed and moved on stage to depict the role of science in human life.
Also featured was the soft launching of the One Stop Laboratory Services for Global Competitiveness (ONE LAB) and the 2014 NSTW Awards. The awardees were Dr. Grecebio Jonathan D. Alejandro for Outstanding Research and Development Award for Basic Research (“Molecular phylogeny and taxonomic revision of the Philippine endemic Villaria Rolfe”), Dr. Rhodora V. Azanza for Outstanding Research and Development Award for Applied Research (Detection and Mitigation of Technology and Early Warning System for Philippine Harmful Algal Blooms and Molecular Studies of HAB Causative Organisms and Associated Bacteria), Tessie C. Nunez for Outstanding Technology Commercialization Award for her successful commercialization of makapuno, and Dr. Reynaldo V. Ebora for Outstanding Science Administrator Award in recognition of his contributions as head of the National Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, UP Los Banos.
The opening ceremony was capped by the formal opening of exhibits. “This year, the event is the biggest in DOST history with over 300 exhibits,” said Montejo in his opening remarks. NSTW, which features interactive exhibits for people aged 5-95, will run until July 28, 2014. Admission is free. For more information, please visit http://www.dost.gov.ph (S&T Media Service)
Senate Committee on Science and Technology Chairperson Sen. Ralph G. Recto affirms the key role of science and technology (S&T) in national development while lamenting the lack of professionals working in S&T. (S&T Media Service)
DOST Sec. Mario G. Montejo talks about genomics in his discussion of the 8 DOST Outcomes. (S&T Media Service)
Performers from the Cultural Center of the Philippines sway, glide and move their way onstage to depict science through art in a thoroughly engaging production number during the NSTW opening ceremony last July 24, 2014. (S&T Media Service)