The year 2011 has ended, let us look back to the breakthroughs and achievements of the science department in the service of the Nation in the last 12 months.
The Department of Science and Technology blazed new trails in addressing long-standing and emergent problems of national urgency under its High Impact Technology Solutions program, or HITS. Through HITS, we were able to scale up our efforts and initiatives to make an impact on the life of Juan de la Cruz and his family.
Under this program, we launched technologies such as the Automatic Weather Stations, Automatic Rain Gauges, Automated Guideway Transport (AGT) system, water nanofiltration containers, complementary foods, among others.
Of particular mention, though, is our aggressive campaign in 2011 to get as many kits of the Mosquito Ovicidal-Larvicidal Trap to households at direct risk to dengue, the latest public health menace. I have always taken the position that scientific understanding and technological adeptness should always serve human needs not only to enhance the quality of life but also to save lives.
In connection with this, we accorded priority attention to contributing disaster relief and mitigation efforts down to the local levels. This proactive approach in disaster risk reduction and management, which Pres. Aquino cited on numerous occasions, characterized DOST’s most important achievement under the Aquino administration.
We also stood in constant vigil monitoring the potentially devastating fallout of a killer tsunami in Japan that seriously damaged the Fukushima nuclear plant.
Here, the DOST issued daily updates to inform the Filipino public and pre-empt any false alarms and wild rumors meant to sow panic and confusion. We at the science department played a leading role in the country’s measured response against all these public interest events.
The national launch of Juan Time paved the way for Filipinos to understand the value of time. This socio-cultural initiative, where science is central, has made the public appreciate the existence of the Philippine Standard Time (PST) – with the DOST-PAGASA as the country’s official time keeper. An advocacy such as this proved that partnership can be made strengthened especially when national interest becomes the common concern.
In the coming year and beyond, the DOST is committed to fully implement its Five-Point DOST Development Program in line with the Aquino Administration’s national development agenda.
First, we will explore the avenues opened by public-private partnerships in order to use S&T to solve pressing national problems. We will rely heavily on our research and development programs to address dengue, telehealth services, potable water, malnutrition, rice shortage, brown/fortified rice, baby food program, coral reef rehabilitation, disaster mitigation, red tide control and management, and the Fusarium Wilt infestation problem affecting our banana plantations, among others.
Second, we will also develop and diffuse appropriate technologies to create growth in the countryside, such as world class technology-based products, food processing technologies, and super farms.
Third, we will leave no stone unturned to improve industry competitiveness. We already have the Automated Gateway Transit System, while under various stages of development and prototyping are technologies that can raise the productivity of industries spanning BPO, electronics, renewable energy [solar, wind], and mining industry [gold, copper, nickel pilot processing plant].
Fourth, we will use S&T to enhance the delivery of government and social services. Initiatives along this line include the Government Broadband Network, National Telehealth Services, and the National 3D Mapping.
Finally, we will build and enhance capacity in emerging technologies such as biotechnology, nanotechnology, genomics, advanced food production technology, and advanced manufacturing systems like in robotics and automated process control.
Our motto has always been “local technology works.” As such we will always promote local technologies toward the nurturing of a business environment that addresses the special needs of technology-based entrepreneurship. It is our wish to impress upon our publics the impact of DOST’s mandate in accelerating the pace of knowledge-driven development in accordance with its growth potential in the country.
Please join us in our journey to make S&T an integral part in the lives of all Filipinos.
Nasa siyensiya ang pag-asa!